CASA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making proposing to change the cabin crew to passenger seat ratio to bring Australia in line with international standards.
Key parts of the proposal include changing the ratio of cabin crew to passenger seats from 1:36 to 1:50 for passenger aircraft with more than 36 and fewer than 216 seats in charter and RPT operations, provided the aircraft has been certified to operate with such a ratio. However, operators would be required to submit a Safety Risk Management Plan which “includes the identification, treatment and monitoring of the risks associated with the operator’s proposal to operate with a cabin crew ratio of one cabin crew member for every 50 passenger seats or part of that number.”
In addition, there would be provision for any aircraft operating at a 1:50 ratio to operate with one fewer cabin crew member in the event of illness or injury during a duty period, subject to strict conditions and reporting to CASA. The NPRM also proposes to lift the number of seats installed requiring a cabin crew member to be carried from 15 to 19.
Virgin Blue and Jetstar have already been operating domestic flights with a 1:50 cabin crew ratio under a CAR208 Direction, and CASA says that there has been no identified reduction in the level of safety.
The NPRM is out for public comment until April 6 and is available from the CASA website.