CASA is taking on the vexing problem of carry-on baggage in aircraft cabins, and its effects on safety.
Cabin Safety Bulletin No. 8, published this month, discusses the potential effects of carry-on baggage as a concern in aircraft evacuations, and as a weight-and-balance issue on smaller aircraft.
It provides information to be considered when operators are writing their carry-on baggage policy and procedures, and developing cabin crew training.
‘Evidence from aircraft accident investigations conducted since 2013 has shown that significant numbers of passengers attempt to take carry-on baggage with them during an emergency evacuation. Such behaviour can present significant hindrance to egress, injury to passengers and crew members, and damage to aircraft safety equipment such as evacuation slides,’ the bulletin says.
Dimensions of the issue include the tendency for some passengers to attempt to take their carry-on baggage with them in an aircraft evacuation, and the additional problems posed by excessively large or heavy carry-on baggage items.
‘Despite crew members repeatedly instructing passengers to leave carry-on baggage during an emergency, this information is provided at a time when passengers are highly stressed and the noise level in the cabin high. These conditions do not allow for understanding or adherence to safety-critical information. Non-compliant carry-on baggage is likely to only add to difficulties under these conditions,’ the bulletin says. It outlines issues and procedures that should be covered in operator carry-on baggage policies, and in cabin crew training.