Aviation safety issues and actions

Passengers with reduced mobility

Issue number: AO-2018-026-SI-04
Issue owner: Whitsunday Air Services
Transport function: Aviation: Air transport
Background: Investigation Report AO-2018-026
Issue release date: 16 June 2021
Current issue status: Closed – Partially addressed
Issue status justification:

The operator has provided more information about when and how the pilot in command must seek to identify those passengers who may require an additional safety briefing, however the operator had the same system in place at the time of the accident, whereby the operator relied on the pilot in command to identify the passengers which in some cases would be as they were boarding the aircraft as was the case on the day of the accident. Therefore the ATSB has assessed the safety issue as partially addressed.

Safety issue description

The operator’s system used to identify passengers with reduced mobility and/or required additional safety briefing information relied on passengers self-reporting a problem.

Proactive action

Action number: AO-2018-026-NSA-066
Action organisation: Whitsunday Air Services
Date: 16 June 2021
Action status: Closed

The operator advised that their operations manual has been updated to include the requirement for the pilot in command to identify passengers who may require additional assistance and therefore an additional briefing. They advised that the identification of these passengers would be the pilot in command's responsibility and occur at reservation, by observation and when the pilot in command asks if the passenger is able to assist in an emergency.  The operator also advised that additional advice has been provided to ground staff and pilots about the positioning of children and passengers with mental and physical disabilities in seats other than emergency exits where possible.

Proactive action

Action number: AO-2018-026-NSA-071
Action organisation: Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Date: 16 June 2021
Action status: Closed

In May 2021, CASA released a multi-part Advisory Circular (AC), AC 121-09, AC 133-06 and AC135-10 v1.0 (Carriage of special categories of passenger) applicable to both aeroplanes and helicopters that provided additional guidance about the identification and management of passengers with reduced mobility, including briefing requirements. The guidance also provided categories of passengers with reduced mobility and seating considerations for each type.

Last update 16 June 2021