Procedure for a rapid disembarkation
Date issue released
Safety Issue Description

Qantas did not have a procedure for a rapid disembarkation, or other similar procedure that would effectively enable rapid deplaning at a slower and more controlled pace than an emergency evacuation. Therefore, the only option for rapid deplaning was an emergency evacuation utilising slides, which unnecessarily increased the risk of injuries in some situations.

Issue number
AO-2019-073-SI-05
Issue Status
Open – Safety action pending
Transport Function
Aviation: Air transport
Issue Owner
Qantas Airways Limited
Mode of Transport
Aviation
Proactive action
Action number
AO-2019-073-PSA-44
Organisation
Qantas Airways Limited
Action Status
Monitor
Action description

In May 2022, Qantas advised that it was undertaking a review of its current non-routine disembarkation procedure and, in consultation with other airlines within the Qantas group, looking to incorporate a procedural framework that provided for the rapid disembarkation of passengers in certain circumstances.

Organisation Response
Date Received
Organisation
Qantas Airways Limited
Response Text

Qantas advised that they are progressing the rapid disembarkation change with a proposal in draft.

Date Received
Organisation
Qantas Airways Limited
Response Text

Qantas advised in July 2023 that a rapid disembarkation procedure had been developed and that they would further advise the ATSB when this procedure had been implemented.

Proactive action
Action number
AO-2019-073-PSA-05
Organisation
Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Action date
Action Status
Closed
Action description

In December 2021, the Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) Part 121 Manual of Standards (MOS) came into effect and included requirements for flight and cabin crew to be trained in rapid disembarkation procedures when converting to a new aircraft type and for cabin crew to be trained annually. Guidance material that included the definition of a rapid disembarkation was also released in Acceptable Means of Compliance and Guidance Material (AMC/GM) Australian Air Transport – Larger Aeroplanes, CASR Part 121 v2.2.

In addition, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority produced guidance material in Cabin safety bulletin – 25 Emergency evacuation and occupant survivability in October 2021 that explained the difference between an evacuation and a rapid disembarkation and described the types of situations where this procedure may be appropriate to prevent unnecessary injury and avoid possible external hazards that may be present if needing to get out quickly at a terminal.