New Zealand airline asks passengers to weigh themselves before flying

New Zealand’s national airline is asking its passengers to step on the scale before boarding international flights.

Air New Zealand wants to weigh 10,000 passengers for a month so that pilots can better understand the weight and balance their planes before takeoff.

But the number that the scale shows will not be displayed for all to see. The company has promised that there will be no visible screens and that the data will be anonymous even to airline staff.

“We weigh everything that goes on the plane, from cargo to onboard meals and checked baggage,” Alastair James, the airline’s cargo control enhancement specialist, said in a statement. “For customers, the crew and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we obtain by doing this survey”.

In fact, the national body that oversees the sector, the Civil Aviation Authority, requires these figures.

Under the authority’s rules, airlines have several options for estimating the weight of passengers: they can take periodic measurements, such as by Air New Zealand, to establish an average weight, or they can accept the standard weighing set by the Authority.

Currently, the entity’s designated weight for persons over the age of 13 is 86 kilos (190 pounds), which includes cabin baggage. The Authority last changed the average passenger weight in 2004, raising it from the previous 77 kilograms (170 pounds).

Health statistics show that New Zealanders are weighing more and more. The latest national survey found an adult obesity rate of 34%, up from 31% the year before. In minors, the rate increased to 13%, compared to the previous 10%.

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A couple of years ago, Air New Zealand already asked its domestic passengers to weigh themselves.

According to James, passengers have nothing to have when getting on the scale.

“It’s simple, it’s voluntary and, by weighing yourself, they will help us fly safely and efficiently every time,” he added.

According to the airline, the survey, which began this week, will end on July 2.

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