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Mode Aviation
Reference No. AR201300066
Date reported 02 August 2013
Concern title Cabin crew safety briefs
Concern summary

The concern related to the reporter's observation of a passenger activating their mobile phone and other passengers standing during the taxi and suggested that the safety brief should be used to emphasise the safety issues involved.

Industry / Operation affected Aviation: Air transport
Concern subject type Aviation: Cabin safety

Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed a safety concern that a passenger activated their mobile phone during the approach phase of the flight. Subsequently, while the aircraft was momentarily delayed taxiing to the gate, passengers stood to retrieve their belongings, despite the seatbelt sign still being illuminated. While the reporter is aware that cabin crew are required to remain seated during the approach and taxi in, they have suggested that the safety brief could be used to emphasise that it is a safety issue, not just a company requirement.

Operator's response (Operator 1)

Passenger non- Compliance with the Seat Belt Sign

During the last 12 months, our occurrence data base has recorded a total of 75 reports relating to passenger non-compliance with the seat belt sign. These reports were all rated as having a low or very low risk. The events were primarily managed by additional announcement or discussions between the passenger and the crew member.

Training

Cabin Crew are required to attend bi-annual emergency procedures training. This training comprises of modules in both emergency and normal operations and ensures passenger compliance with safety requirements is covered in training at regular intervals.

Procedures

The Passenger Announcements Manual is issued to all on-board managers and contains the following information to passengers:

Note: These are all normal PA's made on every flight.

(from safety demo)

  • YOUR SEAT BELT
  • We know you're more than capable of operating a seatbelt but here are a few points on how this one works:
  • Attach your seat belt by inserting the clasp into the buckle and tighten by pulling the strap. Undo it by lifting the buckle flap. You must have your seat belt done up - low and tight - during take-off, landing and whenever the seat belt sign is on. While seated at all other times we require you to have your seatbelt fastened.

(seat belt sign on for landing PA)

  • I'm about to dim the cabin lights for landing. All customers and Crew must now be seated with their seat belt fastened.

(arrival PA)

  • With your safety in mind, please stay in your seat until the Captain has switched off the seatbelt sign. If your mobile phone is handy, you can now switch it on.

Passenger non-compliance with PED policy

In relation to PED non-compliance; our occurrence database indicates that during the last 12 months a total of 731 reports have been received by cabin crew on the hazard of passengers using their mobile phones and personal electronic devices (PEDs) on-board.

It is felt that the sheer volume of reports received in relation to passenger non-compliance with our PED policy illustrates that cabin crew are very aware of the regulatory requirements and company policies on this matter, and are very vigilant in ensuring compliance, particularly during the pre-departure preparations as the cabin is being secured for take-off.

Training

The PED policy was last year part of the cabin crew recurrent emergency procedures curriculum and was covered in the 'Standard Operating Procedures' section of the training day.

Procedures

The Passenger Announcements Manual is issued to all on-board managers and contains the following information to passengers:

Note: These are all normal PA's made on every flight.

  • (before door closure)
    • I'll shortly be asking you to turn off your electronic devices. If your device has flight mode, please activate it now.
  • (welcome on board PA)
    • MOBILE PHONES [Mobile phones and hand held electronic devices may be used during boarding if the aircraft is connected to an aerobridge. If boarding is via stairs, mobile phones and electronic devices must be switched off] Please make sure all of your electronic devices are now set to flight mode and switched off. Once the seat belt sign is off you can use your electronic devices in flight mode, but radio transmitters cannot be used at any time during the flight. We?ll be sure to let you know when your mobile phone can be switched back on as we arrive.
  • (arrival PA)
    • With your safety in mind, please stay in your seat until the Captain has switched off the seatbelt sign. If your mobile phone is handy, you can now switch it on.

Guidance is also given for making further ad hoc customer announcements.

In addition to the above PA's the procedures in the cabin crew operations manual ensure that before landing cabin crew check:

  • Passengers are seated.
  • Cabin baggage stowed.
  • No smoking in the cabin.
  • PEDs are switched off.
  • Aisles, crossovers and exits clear. Ensuring that there are no carry-on baggage items or articles are under the seats directly forward of the over-wing exits.

In summary, cabin crew are generally very motivated to ensure passengers comply with all safety directives as this is a regulatory obligation. Our training enforces the requirement to be vigilant to ensure the safety of the aircraft and passengers during all phases of flight and particularly during take-off, landing and turbulence. In some instances it is difficult to manage passenger behaviour during safety critical periods where other tasks may take priority or the crew member may not see the non-compliance in order to address this.

Regulator's response (Regulator 1)

CASA has reviewed the REPCON and is satisfied with the air operator's response. The operator has responsibility in managing passenger movements on board the aircraft and in directing passengers in the use of electronic equipment and seat belts. The operator's documented procedures, and the content of the passenger briefings are in line with regulatory requirements and international standards.

Passengers have an obligation to follow safety directions and operator's employees are able to invoke an escalating set of responses, depending upon the risks presented by non-complying passengers. The operator also monitors incidents through their safety reporting systems and refines passenger briefings in light of detected trends.

 
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Last update 24 March 2014