– Addition of Safety Based Requirements for Hardened Cockpit Doors
The purpose of this NPRM is to amend Part 90 of CASR 1998 to include safety based design standards on cockpit doors that are required to be hardened for security based reasons.
The aircraft design standards for cockpit doors prior to 2002 never envisioned the door being hardened. The subsequent hardening of these doors had safety consequences affecting standard and emergency procedures, both from within the cockpit and the passenger cabin. Principally, assistance from the cabin in times of in-flight pilot incapacitation and escape from the cockpit to the cabin in post-crash situations were generally made more difficult.
Currently the Australian requirements for HCD are contained in ATSR 2005. The OTS at the Department of Infrastructure and Transport is the custodian of these regulations. ATSR 2005 contains technical standards related to the physical hardening of the door and to security related operations of the aircraft. It does not contain requirements related to aircraft airworthiness or maintenance which fall under CASA’s mandate.
ATSR 2005 currently requires HCD for aircraft in regular public transport or open charter operations with a certificated maximum passenger seating capacity of 30 or more.
Retrofit standards for HCD world-wide consider support for an incapacitated pilot being provided by cabin crew. However, no retrofit standard currently considers dual pilot incapacitation. Such events are extremely rare; though most result in the loss of all lives on-board. CASA is aware of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) consideration of this condition and is monitoring the outcome; however, it is not part of the scope of this project.
How to respond
Comment period now closed.
Contact: Mark Bathie, Project Leader