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(Virgin) Cabin Attendants reduction - Evacuation Time

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(Virgin) Cabin Attendants reduction - Evacuation Time

Old 28th Oct 2009, 05:58
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Melbourne
Age: 50
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(Virgin) Cabin Attendants reduction - Evacuation Time

Im very curious. Virgin Blue has been very active in seeking exemptions from 'standard regulations' which enable them to reduce staff (see, amongst other things pilot duty time exemptions)

In June this year they argued and acheived a reduction in Cabin Crew on Boeing 737's, on the grouds that they have 'self help' exit seats and can therefor acheive 90 second evacuation of the plane.

Can anybody tell me if this is realistic ?
Has anybody done a 'live' or 'mock' evacuation with passengers on a 737 in under 90 seconds ?

Would this be assuming everybody was completely able bodied ? How often does that happen?
MsBuster is offline  
Old 28th Oct 2009, 12:36
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That exemption was renewed in June this year and has been around for a while now. There are some rules around the exemption which VBA must meet. Jetstar also have the exemption as well I believe.
I think the only time an evacuation is called for is when applying for an AOC. Once you done it you have proven to the regulator that you can do it. There's a great youtube video of an A380 evac that was done for the planning of it all.
At the end of the day if Mr and Mrs Blogs get a $30 seat they are happy. If they knew that slowly but surely Australian Aviation was moving away from safe to affordable safety they might be concerned but I doubt it. The problem is that only those in the business care the rest are only concerned with price. Just look at Tiger down in Tas. The consumer doesn't ask why the crew went sick they only want to complain about how their weekend was ruined because $30 didn't get them a spare CC member. If you had of asked them they would have flown back without that crew member and taken their chances.
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Old 28th Oct 2009, 16:06
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What is the seating capacity for the B737s in question? Is the 737 is of a similar to an A320? The capacity on the 320s I fly is 140pax, minimum crew compliment is 4, but we always have 5...
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Old 28th Oct 2009, 20:35
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This has been an on-going debate for many years.

In Australia the crew to passenger ratio has been set at 1:36 but in many parts of the world, the ratio is set at 1:50.

Since airlines such as DJ and JQ have come into play, they have argued that they need an exception to the Australian ratio to be able to operate a true LCC business model.

There are many differing opions on this. Personally, I think it should come down to the aircraft type in question.
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Old 29th Oct 2009, 10:31
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yep UK is 1:50

Our legal minimums are:

B733's seat 148 - 3 crew minimum
A320's seat 180 - 4 crew minimum
B738s seat 189 - 4 crew minimum
A321's seat 220 - 5 crew minimum
B752's seat 233 or 235 - 5 crew minimum
B763's seat 258-328 - 8 crew minimum

Not saying thay actually operate with that number

Actual standard crew complement is

B733's seat 148 - 4 crew
A320's seat 180 - 5 crew
B738s seat 189 - 5 crew
A321's seat 220 - 6 crew
B752's seat 233 or 235 - 6 crew minimum
B763's seat 258-328 - 9 crew minimum

Similarly Easyjet has 156 seats on their A319s so they require a min cabin crew of 4 when operating with that number of pax.

Guess EU regulations are more generous than Oz.
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Old 29th Oct 2009, 22:21
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B767(258) can operate with 6 crew minimum (exc AN)
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Old 29th Oct 2009, 23:31
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767 crew compliments will differ according to the type of doors fitted.

767s with four main doors and one or two pairs of over wing exits can be certified with 6 crew, as long as the ratio is maintained.

767s with 6 main doors and two Type B drop out exits will require a minimum of 7 crew - 8 if the crew to passenger ratio requires it.

I used to fly for a charter company that had Y327 on the 767-300 in a high density 2-4-2 configuration with 6 Type A doors and 2 Type B doors (same as BA and QF-RR). The minimum crew compliment was 8, we rarely got the 9th crew member, except for supernumary crew.

Last edited by VS-LHRCSA; 2nd Nov 2009 at 04:09.
VS-LHRCSA is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2009, 03:59
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Thanks everyone. Yes, its very interesting that the EU and UK have higher standards than us - especially as the Dept Transport Secretary says finalising a 'aviation regulatory harmonisation' with the EU is a current priority - within 12 months

It makes it a very interesting time and potential for some major improvements across a range of areas including crew ratios and pilot flying time.

Starting the research about the 'harmonisation' I was worried about declining standards, until I discovered all of this information.

Its very interesting to learn that mock evacuations are done less often than in stagnant buildings. However did CASA get the suffix 'Safety Authority' ?
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Old 2nd Nov 2009, 22:41
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Thanks everyone. Yes, its very interesting that the EU and UK have higher standards than us...
Technically speaking, based solely on the cabin crew ratio, the 1:50 seat ratio is lower than the 1:36 passenger ratio (i.e. the operator requires fewer cabin crew), which is exactly what you indicate Virgin Blue has requested. The 1:50 seat ratio is in use pretty much everywhere in the world, with the notable exceptions of Australia (1:36 passengers) and Canada (1:40 passengers). That's not to say that one ratio is necessarily better than another, just that they are different.

The design standards for aeroplanes are harmonized internationally and each manufacturer must demonstrate that the aircraft can be successfully evacuated using the minimum required cabin crew, maximum number of passengers and only half the aeroplane exits. The basic requirements can be reviewed at the following links (these are to the US FAA regulatory requirements, but they are harmonized with the EASA (European), TCCA (Canadian) and ANAC (Brazilian) requirements):

25.803 Emergency evacuation
Part 25 Appendix J --Emergency Evacuation
AC 25.803-1A Emergency Evacuation Demonstrations (Although in draft, the guidance contained in this version of the AC is now typically permitted by the regulatory authorities.)

While there are age and gender requirements for the participants of the evacuations, they are all able-bodied. As well, many aeroplanes are now certified based on analysis rather than an actual demonstration (the A320 is one such aeroplane).
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