Washington, DC - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) announced the passage of her amendment to require the FAA to determine if the current design of commercial aircraft oxygen masks should be changed to ensure passengers’ safety. Her amendment was included in the long-term FAA Reauthorization bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives today.

“We all saw the photos and cell phone videos of terrified passengers on Southwest Flight 1380 wearing their oxygen masks only over their mouths, not over their noses and mouths as required. Since the cabin depressurized, this means that many of them may not have been getting all the oxygen that they needed. It’s not surprising that passengers, paralyzed by fear in such a situation, would forget the instructions on proper mask usage. But it’s also clear that the outdated design of these masks may be contributing to the problem and should be studied for possible redesign,” Rep. Speier said. “It’s easy to imagine how small changes, such as a notch for the nose, could improve passenger compliance. If there’s another design that gives people a better chance of surviving an airline disaster, Congress needs to ensure that the FAA and airline industry make those design changes.”