Child Safety Harness Airplane Travel
Adults (18 years or older) who have physical challenges that require the support and security of a CRS or device in order to travel safely on an airplane may request an exemption to the FAA's regulations that require each passenger to be properly secured by a safety belt. This request may also be made by an airline on the passenger's behalf. Several companies manufacture restraint systems for adults with physical challenges.
To review previously granted exemptions on special needs travel, go to the FAA Automated Exemption System and type "7831", "8264" or "9834" in the "Exemption Number" search field and hit "enter" or click on "Search" on the left side of the screen. Highlight the document you wish to view and click on "View Document" on the left side of the screen.
Each year more and more young children fly. But until CARES came along, what was missing was a convenient, hassle-free way to keep young flyers safe. Here’s what makes CARES such an invaluable travel solution:
CARES is manufactured exclusively by AmSafe, the foremost manufacturer of aviation seatbelts and pilot restraints in the world. (Turn over your airplane seat belt buckle. Chances are it says AmSafe.) CARES is made of the same industrial-strength webbing as your own seat belt and is engineered to the highest aviation-safety standards.
The CARES Child Safety Device is the only FAA-approved harness-type restraint for children weighing between 22 and 44 pounds. This type of device provides an alternative to using a hard-backed seat and is approved only for use on aircraft. The CARES Child Safety Device is not approved for use in motor vehicles. Learn more about CARES.
Most young children who use a CRS weigh 40 lbs. or less. However, there are some children with physical challenges who weigh more than 40 lbs. and need the support and security of a CRS or device so they can travel safely on an airplane.
Airlines must allow a child who is under the age of 18 to use an approved CRS that is properly labeled, appropriate for the child's weight, and as long as the child is properly secured in the CRS. Many companies manufacture CRSs approved for use on aircraft that are specifically designed for larger children who are physically challenged. See Child Safety Seat Ease of Use Ratings for more information.
If you're using a CARES child safety device, make sure it has "FAA Approved in Accordance with 14 CFR 21.8(d), Approved for Aircraft Use Only" or "FAA Approved in Accordance with 14 CFR 21.305(d), Amd 21.50 6-9-1980, Approved for Aircraft Use Only" on it.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly urges you to secure your child in a CRS or device for the duration of your flight. It's the smart and right thing to do so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination. The FAA is giving you the information you need to make informed decisions about your family's travel plans.
A CRS is a hard-backed child safety seat that is approved by the government for use in both motor vehicles and aircraft. FAA controls the approval of some but not all CRSs. Additional information is available in FAA guidance (PDF) and on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. Not all car seats are approved for use in airplanes.