This was done by Air New Zealand for the purposes of a study carried out by New Zealand Civil Aviation. Nearly 10,000 passengers departing from Auckland had to climb on the scale – on a voluntary basis, it should be noted – before boarding the plane.

In a statement, James Alastair, the company’s load control specialist, explains that for each flight, the pilot must know the total weight of the aircraft. “We weigh everything that goes on the plane, from cargo to onboard meals to baggage that goes in the hold. For passengers, crew and cabin baggage, we use average weights, which we obtain through this survey. »

Simply put, this survey will determine if the average weight of a passenger has increased… And in Canada? Don’t worry, you won’t have to step on the scale on your next flight: airlines refer to Transport Canada, which maintains the Standard Passenger Weight Record. Thus, in the summer, the average weight of passengers aged 12 and over is 93.4 kg for men (and gender X), 78.1 kg for women, 34 kg for children aged 2 to 11 and 13.6 kg for children under 2 years old. In winter, we are a little heavier: 96.2 kg for men and gender X, 80.7 kg for women, while the weights remain the same for children and toddlers.

Transport Canada states that “to ensure the safety of each flight, air operators must calculate the total weight of the aircraft and how that weight is distributed. Weight and balance have a direct effect on aircraft stability and performance. If a plane is too heavy, it may never take off. If it is out of balance, it can be uncontrollable in flight. Therefore, prior to take-off, pilots and air operators must perform a weight and balance analysis taking into account passengers, baggage, cargo and fuel.”