Aviation safety investigations & reports

Operational and flight safety implications of the installation of hardened cockpit security doors in passenger aircraft having a seating capacity of 30 seats or more

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 341KB]

On 14 April 2005 a crew member of a SAAB Aircraft AB SF-340B suffered a minor injury as a result of coming into contact with the sharp edges of the aircraft's hardened cockpit security door. A similar injury was reported to have occurred previously in like circumstances. More significantly, reports were received from a number of aircraft operators regarding flight safety and operational hazards associated with the installation of hardened cockpit security doors in four different aircraft types.

The investigation determined that, to enhance security, regulation 4.68 of the Transport Security Regulations 2005 was drafted to combine a unique hardened cockpit security door requirement in aircraft having a passenger seating capacity of 30 to 59 seats, with the hardened cockpit door security requirements of Section 13.2.2 of Annex 6 to the Chicago Convention for application in aircraft with a seating capacity of 60 or more seats.

However, the development of regulation 4.68 did not take full account of the operational and flight safety requirements of the US Federal Aviation Regulations, or of other available international policy guidance. The result was a number of unintentional operational and flight safety hazards in affected aircraft, as evidenced by this investigation report.

The apparent scope of the potential hazards associated with the installation of hardened cockpit security doors, and their potential effect, formed the basis for the conduct of this investigation, which was formally commenced on 29 July 2005.

Post publication safety action update

As a result of this investigation, the Office of Transport Security (OTS) indicated that it would explore the establishment of a formal consultation mechanism with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), and consult with CASA on relevant aviation security measures that had the potential to impact on aviation safety. The OTS also advised that it would, over time, consider the amendment of the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005, including in response to the potential safety concerns of the flight deck door requirements.

CASA indicated that it would seek a Memorandum of Understanding with the OTS to ensure the consideration of any potential operational and flight safety hazards that might result from the development of national aviation security requirements. Subsequently, in November 2009, CASA advised that it had established quarterly meetings with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government to discuss the interaction of security and aviation safety regulatory requirements. On that basis, both organisations agreed that a formal Memorandum of Understanding was not required.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 341KB]
General details
Date: 29 July 2005   Investigation status: Completed  
State: Other   Occurrence type: Miscellaneous - Other  
Release date: 05 January 2007   Occurrence category: Technical Analysis  
Report status: Final    
Last update 04 January 2019