DGCA asks airlines to streamline rapid disembarkation procedures for enhanced passenger safety
A circular has been issued to all airlines, highlighting the instruction that emergency exits and slides should only be utilized for rapid disembarkation when deemed necessary by crew members
In response to the importance of swift disembarkation during emergencies, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed airline operators to incorporate comprehensive protocols in their operations, safety, and emergency procedures manual.
A circular has been issued to all airlines, highlighting the explicit instruction that emergency exits and slides should only be utilized for rapid disembarkation when deemed necessary by the crew members.
This measure by the aviation regulator aims to ensure a well-defined approach to passenger evacuation, prioritizing safety while streamlining evacuation procedures.
"Abnormal and emergency procedures should be designed to enable flight crew members to immediately recognize an abnormal and emergency situation, rapidly gain awareness of situational dynamics and take necessary measures to safeguard occupants & other crew members. CAR Section 8 Series O Part Il and CAR Section 8 series O Part VII lays down procedure for emergency duties of flight crew members in situations requiring emergency evacuation. In case of evacuation not required, PIC may choose normal deplaning," read the circular issued on May 26.
"However, there may be instances where full scale evacuation is not required as the situation may not be immediate life threatening but rapid deplaning is advantageous over normal deplaning. Cabin Safety Circular 1 of 2016 issued by DGCA provides guidance material for preparation of Safety Emergency Procedure manual and for inclusion of rapid disembarkation in the cabin crew training syllabus."
The circular also provided guidance for aircraft operators to lay down requirements and guidance for conduct of rapid disembarkation for flight crew members.
"Rapid disembarkation (also referred to as 'rapid deplaning', 'precautionary deplaning', 'precautionary disembarkation') is a precautionary egress from the aircraft in situations assessed by the crew members as deviating from normal conditions but not being an immediate emergency, i.e. not posing an immediate threat to passengers and crew members on board, but which may escalate into an emergency. Rapid disembarkation usually happens at the airport," the circular further stated.
"Emergency exits and slides are not to be used in rapid disembarkation unless the crew members decide that this has become necessary and will give the relevant command to passengers. Rapid disembarkation is a rapid egress from the aircraft, therefore passengers and crew members will leave all their belongings on board unless they are instructed otherwise.
"Crew members' instruction (i.e. words used) for a rapid disembarkation will be different from that used for evacuation. It is essential that operator lays down communication procedures for smooth conduct of rapid disembarkation. The focus should be on understanding of passengers on what the crew members are saying, remain calm and leave the aircraft as instructed and as soon as possible," it added.