April 2011AmSafe Marks 10-Year Milestone for Aviation Seatbelt Airbags
Phoenix, Arizona, April 05, 2011 — Ten years ago, a commercial flight from Glasgow, Scotland to Dublin, Ireland took to the skies, becoming the first airplane to be equipped with the AmSafe Seatbelt Airbag. In the decade that has followed, nearly 70 airlines and thousands of private aircraft owners have recognized the safety benefit of the seatbelt airbag. Today, more than 60,000 commercial and general aviation aircraft seats are equipped with this innovative technology and new seats are added daily.
"Since that first flight a decade ago, we have supported nearly 70 airlines in their adoption of our enhanced safety technology. In addition, general aviation aircraft manufacturers have provided the seatbelt airbag as standard equipment on most piston-powered platforms, with no prodding from regulators, due entirely to the benefits it offers their customers," said Terence Lyons, chief executive officer of AmSafe Global Holdings, Inc. "Most importantly, we have met personally with a number of people who walked away from airplane crashes following the deployment of our airbags. The journey from an initial concept to a product that saves lives has been very fulfilling for everyone at AmSafe who has been involved with the seatbelt airbag over this past decade."
In service since 2001, the seatbelt airbag has afforded airlines a value-added option for compliance with the FAA's 16G safety regulation that went into effect in October 2009. The 16G rule requires commercial aircraft seats to withstand a crash impact of up to 16 times the force of gravity. As compliance with this regulation has proven challenging in certain seating environments, airlines have increasingly turned to the seatbelt airbag as a reliable means of meeting the new standard. In so doing, they have been able to deliver enhanced passenger safety and at the same time avoid taking the alternative approach to compliance: removal of rows of seats and sustaining an associated loss of millions of dollars per aircraft in revenue.
Since its introduction, the seatbelt airbag has also been adopted by the general aviation market, with the technology now standard equipment on nearly 80 percent of new single engine general aviation aircraft and available as an aftermarket option for many legacy models. In January, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) adopted the findings of a three-year study which demonstrated that seatbelt airbags provide additional occupant protection in crashes of general aviation aircraft.
According to the NTSB, most commercial airline accidents are survivable as they occur on the ground or at take-off or landing when aircraft are close to the ground and flying at relatively low speeds. In a survivable crash, fatalities frequently occur from smoke inhalation and fire when passengers cannot escape the aircraft quickly. The seatbelt airbag is designed to keep passengers conscious during the critical 90 seconds immediately following a survivable incident.
The seatbelt airbag is a self-contained, modular restraint designed to protect occupants from serious head-impact injury and enhance one's ability to exit an aircraft following a survivable accident. Integrated into the lap belt portion of the seatbelt, the seatbelt airbag, unlike automotive airbags, safely deploys up and away from the seated occupant, making it a safe restraint for passengers of all ages, including children.
Title: AmSafe Marks 10-Year Milestone for Aviation Seatbelt Airbags
Date Published: April 5, 2011
Date Accessed: August 8, 2013