Airline to start weighing passengers before takeoff

Finland’s flagship airline, Finnair has announced that it will start asking passengers to weigh themselves and their carry-on baggage before takeoff.

The airline stated that the weigh-ins are “voluntary and anonymous” and will help to ensure the airline does not exceed the set maximum weight for a safe take-off.

The airline disclosed this in a statement on its website sighted by The PUNCH on Friday, adding that the process was being employed to update weight averages last calculated in 2018.

Finnair said estimating the weight of the passenger and cargo load was important to maintain aircraft balance and flight stability.

The air operator collects its own measurements to determine passenger weight averages, and its figures must be updated every five years, according to aviation law.

Finnair Ground Processes Lead, Satu Munnukka, clarified that the weighing data is solely utilised for essential average calculations ensuring the safe operation of flights.

The lead added that the collected data will be entirely disconnected from customers’ personal information.

“We record the total weight and background information of the customer and their carry-on baggage, but we do not ask for the name or booking number, for example.

“Only the customer service agent working at the measuring point can see the total weight, so you can participate in the study with peace of mind.”

Munnukka revealed that the data will be collected starting this month through May, before being signed off by Finnish authorities and put into use for aircraft balance calculations starting next year.

“In the previous measurements five years ago, a good number of volunteers wanted to participate in the weighing, and we hope to have a good sample of volunteers, both business and leisure travelers, also this time, so that we can get the most accurate information possible for important balance calculations,” Munnukka added.

Finnair now joins the ranks of air carriers such as Korean Air, Hawaiian Air, Uzbekistan Airways, and Air New Zealand in implementing passenger weighing procedures.

Korean Air passengers experienced a surprise last year due to a new law mandating the weighing of travelers and their carry-on luggage at least once every five years on domestic flights.

Also, the US Federal Aviation Administration provided guidance on determining the weight of passengers in its Advisory Circular 120-27F.

This implies that Airlines can use average weights, survey-based weights, or actual weights to calculate the aircraft’s weight and balance.

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