Strict new airline safety rules after deadly turbulence killed UK passenger

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777
-Credit: (Image: PA)

Passengers may soon be required to keep their seatbelts fastened throughout the entire flight under new airline regulations. This change in safety measures follows an incident on a Singapore Airlines flight where one passenger was killed due to unexpected turbulence.

Last month, 73-year-old Geoffrey Kitchen was killed when the Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 dropped nearly 180ft within seconds and he suffered what is believed to be a fatal heart attack. More than 100 people were initially hospitalised following the incident, reports Birmingham Live.

Now, new rules could soon prohibit passengers from unfastening their seatbelts at any point during flights to prevent similar incidents from occurring. According to The Times, safety experts from several airlines are currently exploring how this change could be implemented.

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An anonymous aviation source revealed that the incident has left airline executives "terrified they could be next". They said: "The messaging is going to be massively strengthened: it'll be 'Stay strapped in at all times'. End off."

Emirates president Sir Tim Clark told The Times that the "whole industry is now upping in the game" to ensure passengers remain buckled up for the entirety of their flight. He said: "We are looking at all the protocols."

If this rule is introduced, it would mark one of the most significant changes to safety regulations in two decades, according to travel expert Paul Charles. Since Mr Kitchen's death amid the turbulence, a series of other rules have been put in place. Last month, Singapore Airlines announced that they would no longer serve hot drinks or meals when the seatbelt sign is illuminated.

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