The right numbers for safety (ICAO Journal)

June 30, 2017


By Martin Maurino

Cabin crew members play a key role in passenger and operational safety. The number of cabin crew on board, and their performance, are significant factors in the successful evacuation of aircraft. ICAO’s new Manual on the Establishment of Minimum Cabin Crew Requirements (Doc 10072) provides guidance material to ensure the right number of cabin crew members are on board to ensure passenger and operational safety.

As demonstrated from past accidents, a minimum number of cabin crew members are required on board aircra3 to effectively conduct a timely evacuation and increase the survivability of passengers during an accident. ICAO Standards related to minimum cabin crew requirements are found in Annex 6 – Operation of Aircraft,  Part I – International Commercial Air Transport – Aeroplanes. The goal of these  Standards is to allow for a safe and expeditious evacuation of the aircra3, and to enable cabin crew to carry out the necessary functions to be performed in an emergency or a situation requiring an evacuation.

The ICAO Standards do not provide a numeric value (i.e., an exact number of cabin crew) needed for the operator to comply with Annex 6 requirements. The minimum number of cabin crew members required for each aircra3 type in an operator’s fleet must be approved by the State.

How is the number of cabin crew on board calculated?

The number of cabin crew members on board is based on the maximum seating capacity of a specific aircra3 type or the number of passengers carried on a particular flight. Most States use the 1:50 model (i.e., a ratio of 1 cabin crew member to 50 passenger seats installed). This includes the United States and States in the European Union. This method is based on the aircra3 manufacturers’ certificated evacuation capability, as part of the type certificate process.

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