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Old May 8, 22, 1:31 pm
  #661  
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Originally Posted by BOH View Post
That's really helpful, thanks
My pleasure, the simple answers are often the best. 🤪
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Old May 8, 22, 1:34 pm
  #662  
 
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As an off-the-cuff speculation, imagine if you had a 777 with 300 seats but only 40 of them were occupied - similar to what really happened mid-pandemic - with passengers in various places around the cabin. On a BA service, assuming someone bought a ticket in each class of travel, that's a minimum of four groups of passengers to handle even if you sit all the people in one cabin class together.

How is the one cabin crew member going to get all these people off the front and the back of the aircraft at the same time in an emergency?

The safety implications of this sort of extreme, yet realistic, scenario seem quite obvious to me.

Yet if you piled those 40 into the same part of the CW cabin (say) it would be much more plausible for that cabin crew member to marshal them all off the aircraft in case of an emergency evacuation. Other factors are also at work, of course, which is why the minimum cabin crew count is also affected by the number of doors.
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Old May 8, 22, 3:00 pm
  #663  
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Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
The BBC offers an explanation. My bolding

“By taking out the back row of seating on its A319 fleet, EasyJet said it will be able to fly with three cabin crew instead of four.

That would limit numbers on board to a maximum 150 passengers.

EasyJet said it was an effective way of operating the fleet while "building additional resilience and flexibility" into the airline's operations.

Flights would still meet Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations on the required number of cabin crew, which is based on the number of physical seats, rather than passengers on board.”


I recall back in the day, BA was able to reduce the crew count to 3 on LGW domestics by permanently converting the first four rows on the 737-400 to AC-DEF which brought the physical seat count down to 149
Thanks - but still not an explanation, you have simply copy-pasted of what the news item stated which I read myself. My question is does anyone know WHY the CAA mandate it this way rather than simply instruct the airlines on one CC member per 50 pax, not seats. I have flown quite a few times when seats are blocked off and pax are simply not allowed to sit in certain rows (usually for weight and balance reasons). Plus in the last few months a whole exit row has been left empty because of an issue with a low pressure indication on a door slide gas cartridge. That row was simply blocked by the GC by duct tape off across the 3 armrests in minutes....job done.

As to the answer someone gave that it prevents the airlines from perhaps booking that remaining last row to try and cheat and take advantage.....seriously? No airline would ever go against a CAA mandatory rule like that.
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Old May 8, 22, 3:23 pm
  #664  
 
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It keep compliance simple. The number of seats is a matter of fact as opposed to opinion / airline systems. Silverstone for thd Grand Prix charges per passenger seat occupied or otherwise. It is not uncommon.
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Old May 8, 22, 4:00 pm
  #665  
 
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A BA A380 has a capacity for 469 passengers. Now, imagine if the certification process involved assessing every single seating permutation of passengers aboard from 1 to 469, to define cc minima! I could do the maths, but hopefully you get the point! I would suggest that physical seats is by far the simplest to define, manage and enforce.
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Last edited by TedToToe; May 8, 22 at 4:08 pm
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Old May 8, 22, 4:03 pm
  #666  
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Originally Posted by BOH View Post
As to the answer someone gave that it prevents the airlines from perhaps booking that remaining last row to try and cheat and take advantage.....seriously? No airline would ever go against a CAA mandatory rule like that.
I agree that this is unlikely. But I wonder whether the rule is intended to prevent it happening by accident. There are plenty of incidents in which pax have been accidentally boarded and seated on the basis of a different seat plan from the actual aircraft configuration. Here is one example that was easy to find: https://assets.publishing.service.go...UZMI_10-21.pdf. It's not hard to imagine similar chains of events leading to aircraft departing with too many passengers for the number of cabin crew.
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Old May 8, 22, 4:20 pm
  #667  
 
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Originally Posted by Prospero View Post
The BBC offers an explanation. My bolding

“By taking out the back row of seating on its A319 fleet, EasyJet said it will be able to fly with three cabin crew instead of four.

That would limit numbers on board to a maximum 150 passengers.

EasyJet said it was an effective way of operating the fleet while "building additional resilience and flexibility" into the airline's operations.

Flights would still meet Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations on the required number of cabin crew, which is based on the number of physical seats, rather than passengers on board.”


I recall back in the day, BA was able to reduce the crew count to 3 on LGW domestics by permanently converting the first four rows on the 737-400 to AC-DEF which brought the physical seat count down to 149
And I have travelled, within the last few years, on a BA A319 with only 2 cabin crew, due to a crew member falling ill downroute. At the gate, volunteers were sought to reduce the pax numbers to 100 so that we were within the ‘50 pax per cabin crew’ rule as stated at the time. I remember this well as the first officer had to come into the cabin to read the safety briefing whilst the two cabin crew did the manual demonstration.
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Old May 8, 22, 4:32 pm
  #668  
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An unforeseen situation may have different rules, anyway. Or it may require an ad hoc exemption for that specific flight in order to get the aircraft, crew and passengers home, perhaps including the sick crew.

Thinking back to the main issue, it is always possible that the media reports are inaccurate and/or incomplete.

And I wonder whether there is another possible contributor to EZY's reported plan: If you're going to fly aircraft for months with at least six unoccupied seats, it'll save quite a bit of (now-expensive) fuel if you leave those six physical seats on the ground.
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Old May 8, 22, 8:51 pm
  #669  
 
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Originally Posted by volar View Post
And I have travelled, within the last few years, on a BA A319 with only 2 cabin crew, due to a crew member falling ill downroute. At the gate, volunteers were sought to reduce the pax numbers to 100 so that we were within the ‘50 pax per cabin crew’ rule as stated at the time. I remember this well as the first officer had to come into the cabin to read the safety briefing whilst the two cabin crew did the manual demonstration.
Yes, this can happen but it is covered by the regulations. Should this happen the number of crew may be reduced by one for a single sector back to main base only and the number of passengers is reduced by the amount specified by the regulations - this is aircraft specific.

Interestingly the RAF used to run their TriStars with 4 total cabin crew but, as the Falkland Islands run carried fare paying civilian pax this number was increased to meet the CAA requirement of 1 crew per 50 seats fitted. The argument was made about number of pax aboard but was rebuffed as it did not meet the requirements laid down by the ANO, the number was upped to 6.

The EZ A319 also has two overwing exits due to the number of pax seats fitted, BA (and most other operators) have only one overwing exits on their 319s, it is an easy way to tell a 319 and 320 apart.
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Old May 8, 22, 9:05 pm
  #670  
 
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Hi… Currently flying my first F and wondering, how does the free wifi work?!
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Old May 8, 22, 10:12 pm
  #671  
 
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Originally Posted by BOH View Post
Thanks - but still not an explanation, you have simply copy-pasted of what the news item stated which I read myself. My question is does anyone know WHY the CAA mandate it this way rather than simply instruct the airlines on one CC member per 50 pax, not seats. I have flown quite a few times when seats are blocked off and pax are simply not allowed to sit in certain rows (usually for weight and balance reasons). Plus in the last few months a whole exit row has been left empty because of an issue with a low pressure indication on a door slide gas cartridge. That row was simply blocked by the GC by duct tape off across the 3 armrests in minutes....job done.

As to the answer someone gave that it prevents the airlines from perhaps booking that remaining last row to try and cheat and take advantage.....seriously? No airline would ever go against a CAA mandatory rule like that.
https://www.icao.int/safety/airnavig...uirements.aspx

I think in order to answer the why part of the question we need to go back to understand why the rule exists.

I found this ICAO link. Without spending hours trawling through it, I expect it isn’t *just* based on the number of seats. For example, doors & so on may be relevant. Are we saying you could fit 5 WT seats at the back of a 777, 1 WTP in that zone and so on, and be ok to operate with 1cc member. I seem to recall there are ‘self help’ and ‘assisted’ exits.

I expect if you delve into the annuls of CAA docs you will find studies / reasoning. I suggest it may be that the minimum certified crew for a 319 carrying pax would be the greater of 2 (based on 1 cc member being needed to cover Doors 1L/R and 2L/R or 1 crew member per 50 passenger seats (whichever the greater). Think E190 and why they are so spacious.

We know stowaways do happen, we know cockups happen. If the seat isn’t fitted there can be no misunderstanding or ‘interpretation’. Row 29 is blocked but Anita is an off duty IFM who is on staff travel, given she’s crew she can sit in the blocked seat can’t she? And so on. Before you say these things don’t happen, look at the flight that went to Aberdeen / Scotland rather than Berlin. A simple, easy to follow system is best.

I also think regulators’ prime concern should be safety, not ‘cutting red tape’ - look at what goes wrong when you do that!

Last edited by IAMORGAN; May 9, 22 at 1:18 am
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Old May 9, 22, 1:25 am
  #672  
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Originally Posted by IAMORGAN View Post
https://www.icao.int/safety/airnavig...uirements.aspx
I also think regulators’ prime concern should be safety, not ‘cutting red tape’ - look at what goes wrong when you do that!
Agree to some extent. However, times and technology change and without regulators and red tape being challenged in the past (with compelling evidence of course) we would still only be flying 4-engine planes across the Atlantic and all aircraft would be grounded in even the slightest fog.

We used to have a saying in the rail industry that as far as the regulators were concerned, the only safe train was one that was in a station at a standstill. A senior engineer used to open most safety review boards he chaired with the words, "my job is to immediately say NO to any change you propose to any product, system or procedure and you work back from there with solid evidence to convince me"
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Old May 9, 22, 3:21 am
  #673  
 
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Originally Posted by BOH View Post
Question regarding the number of crew required by law vs number of seats. I recall reading that the CAA mandates the minimum crew per aircraft is directly linked to the number of seats fitted on each aircraft, not the actual number of pax on board? Why would it be done like this, surely it allows an airline much more flexibility of aircraft changes if based on number of pax on board?

Surely an airline can simply block out a number of seats in the reservation system to ensure compliance rather than have to physically remove rows of seats? The way it is mandated at the moment prevents a last minute substitution if an aircraft goes tech and another frame also with similar seats removed is not available?

Not sure if this link will help, but I’ll post it in anycase. As the UK is an ICAO signature state, our own ‘state of the operator’ regulator, the CAA, needs to ensure our rules comply with the ICAO annexes. Annex 6 in this case.

Interestingly ICAO do not specific number of pax or number of seats, but they give their reasoning as to why a set minimum standard is required. It is then up to the individual nations to implement.

Given the lack of working bodies available to the industry right now, removing physical seats to comply with the CAA’s implementation of Annex 6 would actually help an airline. You can’t have a situation where by pax have been accepted to travel at the last minute, triggering the need for an additional crew member but having none availability to use.

Other items onboard, such as number of extinguishers etc etc are directly linked to either number of seats fitted, or the maximum number of occupants plus a set factor (infant extension seat belts etc).

https://www.icao.int/safety/airnavig...uirements.aspx
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Old May 9, 22, 3:47 am
  #674  
 
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Putting aside the complexities of verifying and regulating a more flexible system, if it was a significant benefit to airlines, presumably they would be lobbying for it. ETOPS being a case in point, perhaps.
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Old May 9, 22, 3:56 am
  #675  
 
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Originally Posted by Pilot37 View Post
Getting back to more mundane matters, perhaps Heathrow Tower could advise when the final piece of apron which is stopping T2 and it’s remote pier having through access like T5 does now will be finished?
I have no idea what they were doing with the ground works, but it seems to be taking an age to complete it and fill the final piece in so aircraft movements across a lot of the airfield will become even easier for ATC and pilots!

Pilot37
Sorry, just seen this.

We are planning to have Kilo as a through route in October this year. Bit of a pain for us really, as the north end cul-de-sac belongs to one ground controller, and the south end cul-de-sca belongs to another! When they are just one taxilane we'll have to settle on one or the other for the whole thing.
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