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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 39

(Question No. 4805)


Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 17 October 1986:

(1) What are the details of the requirements relating to passenger levels and corresponding cabin crew requirements.

(2) What does his Department require for a licensed aircraft operator to change the seating configuration of the aircraft he is operating.

(3) If a change to the seating configuration results in a corresponding change in the requirements for cabin crew, does this have any bearing on approval or non-approval of seating configurations for any given routes or combination of routes; if so, why.

(4) Does his Department permit aircraft operators to change their seating configurations to match capacity requirements on differing routes which the same aircraft may fly; if not, why not.

(5) Is he considering making these requirements more flexible; if not, why not.


Mr Peter Morris —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The requirements for cabin attendants are detailed in Air Navigation Orders Section 20.16.3. The relevant paragraphs are:

``6.1-Aircraft engaged in charter or regular public transport operations shall carry cabin attendants appropriate to their passenger complement as follows-

(a) aircraft carrying more than fifteen but not more than thirty-six passengers shall carry a cabin attendant, except that aircraft-

(i) having a passenger seat configuration of not more than nineteen; and

(ii) carrying not more than nineteen passengers; and

(iii) required to be crewed by two pilots need not carry a cabin attendant provided that duties and responsibilities of the flight crew concerning the briefing and control of passengers in normal and emergency operations are specified in the Operations Manual;

(b) aircraft carrying more than thirty-six but not more than 216 passengers shall carry at least one cabin attendant for each unit of thirty-six passengers or part thereof;

(c) aircraft carrying more than 216 passengers shall carry the number of cabin attendants as prescribed by the Secretary which shall not be less than one cabin attendant for each floor level exit in any cabin with two aisles;

(d) notwithstanding the specifications of (a), (b) and (c) above, in an aircraft in which cabin attendants are required to be carried, there shall be not less than one cabin attendant in each separate compartment occupied by passengers, and, where the number of cabin attendants used in the emergency evacuation demonstration required by Air Navigation Orders Section 20.11 of this Part was in excess of the numbers required by (a), (b) or (c) above, the number of cabin attendants on an aircraft shall be not less than the numbers required by (a), (b) or (c) as applicable plus the excess number of attendants used in the demonstration.

6.2-Notwithstanding the requirements of para 6.1 above, the number of cabin attendants required need not be increased when infants or children are carried and the total number of passengers exceeds the number of passengers permitted by-

(a) the number of cabin attendants carried; or

(b) the number permitted by the emergency evacuation demonstration required by Air Navigation Orders Section 20.11 of this Part including any increase allowed without demonstration,

provided that the number of excess passengers does not exceed five per cent to the nearest whole number of the lesser of (a) or (b) above and that the excess passengers are infants or children.''

(2) If a major or significant change in the cabin interior configuration is proposed by an operator my Department would require that the relevant Air Navigation Orders relating to aircraft loading, carriage of persons, cabin safety, weight and balance and structural integrity be adhered to.

However an operator may change the seating configuration in accordance with any previously approved configurations, or minor variations thereto, without any further approval or Departmental requirement. This occurs, for example, where a number of alternative configurations were submitted and approved when the aircraft was first certificated or registered.

(3) A change to the seating configuration would only require a change to cabin attendant requirements where there was a corresponding change in the number of passengers or compartments.

(4) Yes. Provided that operators comply with safety and operational requirements they are free to adjust aircraft seating configurations in order to meet demand on differing routes in accordance with their commercial judgement.

(5) No. The present safety and operational requirements are considered necessary and appropriate.