A Minnesota-based nonprofit has asked the Department of Transportation to increase regulations to protect airline passengers with allergies to peanuts and other foods.
The Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota submitted 20 recommendations and over 2,000 passenger surveys to the Department of Transportation on Thursday.
The federal agency is considering whether to create new rules on airline passenger safety, including whether to allow airlines to continue to distribute peanuts on flights.
Nona Narvaez, the nonprofit's executive director, said it's unlikely that the government will ban peanuts from flights. She said her group has focused on how airlines can reduce the risk to passengers with peanut allergies without banning the popular snack.
The nonprofit wants new provisions allowing passengers with peanut allergies to request a peanut-free flight, requiring airlines to provide several rows of allergen-free seats, and mandating that aircraft carry medical supplies to treat allergic reactions.
"I think it's just a matter of time that the issue's going to be forced," Narvaez said. "It's going to either be in response to the passengers that need these protections to have a safe flight or it's going to be unfortunately (in response to) some kind of tragedy that happens."
The Department of Transportation will draft a proposal for new regulations and seek additional public comment in the next several months.