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Cabin Safety Bulletin No. 8 – Carry-on baggage
Who does this bulletin apply to?
This document applies to all operators of Australian registered aircraft and should be read in conjunction with sub regulation 253 (4) of CAR 1988, Civil Aviation Order 20.11.14 and Civil Aviation Order 20.16.3.
What is the purpose of this bulletin?
This bulletin provides information to be considered when operators are authoring carry-on baggage policy and procedures and cabin crew training provisioning.
This bulletin describes an example of an acceptable means, but not the only means, of demonstrating compliance with regulations and standards. On its own this bulletin does not change, create, amend or permit deviations from regulatory requirements, nor does it establish minimum standards.
Civil aviation legislation and guidance material currently identifies the content to be incorporated into passenger safety briefings and safety instruction cards, however there is no specific regulatory requirement to warn passengers about the dangers of attempting to take personal belongings with them should an emergency evacuation be required.
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.
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.
Preventing non-compliant hand luggage from entering an aircraft is an important safety role of ground and cabin staff.
Ensuring crew members are comprehensively trained in all aspects of carry-on baggage compliance will serve to enhance their knowledge, particularly as it relates to the hazards and risks associated with the increase in carry-on/overweight baggage brought into the passenger cabin. Reinforcing and emphasising the requirement to proactively scrutinise carry-on baggage during passenger boarding should mitigate the risks to effective emergency evacuation.
Addressing carry-on baggage provisions
Operators should consider a range of information when authoring and/or reviewing carry-on baggage provisioning. These procedures should contain:
- a description of the term 'carry-on baggage' and information pertaining to items suitable for carriage including the number of items; maximum size; weight; dimensions
- a process for ensuring passenger compliance with operator provisioning around carry-on baggage size; weight and dimensions
- a process for ensuring carry-on baggage provisioning does not compromise the operator approved weight and balance program
- a process for stowing carry-on baggage in accordance with aircraft type; cabin configuration and other space factors, ensuring that:
- carry-on baggage does not obstruct passenger movement to, from or across the aisle
- items stowed in overhead stowage lockers fit securely and cabin crew can close lockers without using force
- there is minimal chance of baggage and other articles falling out of overhead lockers when they are opened.
- a process to verify that each item of baggage is properly stowed in an approved compartment prior to door closure including:
- methods to ensure carry-on baggage does not exceed weight limitations and lockers are not overloaded by cabin crew members and/or passengers
- stowing unusual or fragile items, that is, if an item cannot be stowed in a manner that ensures the safety of the aircraft and its occupants, it should be transported by some other means
- ensuring baggage does not interfere with access to, and use of, emergency equipment
- how passengers will be prevented from bringing into the cabin baggage that for any reason cannot be stowed appropriately, including use of baggage test units/weight scales; and procedure for removal; tagging and transporting as checked luggage
- duties of personnel responsible for assisting with the above process such as ground operations personnel / security personnel, who can determine whether carry-on baggage should be taken on board, with emphasis on cabin crew being the last line of defence.
Operators should regularly review data acquired through their Safety Management System including occurrence reports; safety audit findings; line operational safety audits and safety investigation recommendations. Following these reviews, operators should generate mechanisms that evaluate current risk mitigation, and augment safety promotion that prevents carriage of overweight carry-on baggage; raises awareness of trending issues associated with carriage of problematic carry-on baggage and supports cabin crew decision making.
Cabin crew training
Operator training to cabin crew regarding approved carry-on baggage should include:
- a definition of carry-on baggage and description of the range of articles that are considered carry-on baggage
- regulations and company procedures relating to carry-on baggage
- safety implications of improperly stowed carry-on baggage
- the approved stowage locations for carry-on baggage, any specific areas of the cabin where carry-on baggage may not be stowed for example, lavatory compartments
- the requirement for placarding overhead stowage lockers, approved cupboards and drawers and the types of placarding used in the aircraft fleet
- procedures for stowing awkward types of carry-on baggage such as musical instruments canes, crutches, walking sticks etc.
- procedures for accepting carry-on baggage and procedures for non-acceptance
- general announcements made to passengers regarding carry-on baggage, when they are made, associated intervals and personnel responsible
- crew responsibilities for ensuring that all carry-on baggage is correctly stowed, when required, and prior to door closure
- procedures for dealing with carry-on baggage that cannot be correctly stowed and the importance of crew consistency in applying these requirements
- policies and procedures for the carriage of live animals in the passenger cabin
- cabin crew responsibility for monitoring carry-on baggage
- effects of carry-on baggage on weight and balance as applicable to the aircraft fleet
- keeping the exit areas clear and free from obstructions, such as carry-on baggage
- maintaining clear access to emergency equipment
- safety precautions for cabin crew members when opening overhead stowage lockers, and handling items of carry-on baggage to prevent personal injury
- policies and procedures for stowing crew baggage in the passenger cabin including accepting baggage from positioning crew members.
This section presents existing guidance material. This guidance includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Manual on Information and Instructions for Passenger Safety (Doc 10086) (International Civil Aviation Organisation [ICAO])
- Safety Notice Number SN-2015/006 - Management of Cabin Baggage in the Event of an Aircraft Evacuation (Civil Aviation Authority)
- Advisory Circular Number 121-29B - Carry-On baggage (Federal Aviation Administration)
- Civil Aviation Safety Alert Number 2018-04 - Passengers retrieving carry-on baggage during evacuations (Transport Canada)
View the cabin safety pages.
If you have an inquiry please contact the cabin safety team on 131757 and ask to speak to a cabin safety inspector or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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