Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Transport Canada - Aviation Safety Letter Cabin Safety: Did You Know…

Cabin Safety: Did You Know…

by Pascale Lachance, Program Manager, Cabin Safety Standards, Standards, Civil Aviation, Transport Canada

Travelling by plane for a ferry flight or to reach a holiday destination is probably commonplace for those of you who work in the field of aviation. Since travelling this way is a part of your life, it is natural that you feel very comfortable in an airplane, and you probably pay less attention to your surroundings, as well as the instructions and safety tips given by the flight crew. Although some of their instructions may not seem to matter much, especially after you’ve heard them so many times before—perhaps even told them to others—all information pertaining to safety on an aircraft is governed by regulations and must be stated upon each takeoff and landing, and whenever turbulence is encountered, etc. In addition, although the instructions may appear to be the same, they are actually different from one airplane to the next, since most aircraft are different. For instance, you will find variances in the location of emergency exits, as well as the safety features card and the life jackets used.

Did you know that the law requires that passengers obey the instructions given throughout a flight? It’s true. It is your responsibility, as a passenger, to pay attention to thestandard safety briefing given by the flight attendants and to follow their instructions, otherwise you could be held accountable in a court of law, just like any other passenger.

Checked luggage and carry-on baggage
When it comes to packing a suitcase, most people like to have the same personal items that they are used to, whenever they travel. This can make packing an arduous task. Also, with the new security rules in effect, at times you may feel totally lost when it comes to choosing which items to include in carry-on baggage and which ones to stow in checked baggage. Take care not to include any non-permitted items in your carry-on baggage, so that you are not delayed when going through security. Some items are permitted when they are carried by a working member of the flight crew, but not permitted when flight crew members travel as passengers.

Did you know that some products that we use regularly are considered to be dangerous goods when carried on board an aircraft? Did you know that matches are not permitted in carry-on baggage?

Pre-boarding security screening goes smoothly for educated and prepared passengers.
Photo: CATSA
Pre-boarding security screening goes smoothly for educated and prepared passengers.

Did you know that different types of aircraft have different size and weight limitations for carry-on baggage? It is therefore important to check with your airline to determine their carry-on baggage allowances, since they may be different from what you are used to.

Travelling with children
Travelling with young children can present additional challenges. Although restraint systems are not mandatory for children under two, and infants may be held in an adult’s arms, it is strongly recommended that you use an approved child restraint system on board an aircraft. These devices are much safer than simply holding the child in your arms. It is recommended that child restraint systems be used upon takeoff and landing, whenever turbulence is encountered, and whenever the “fasten seatbelts” light is turned on.

Did you know that child restraint systems purchased abroad, with the exception of the United States, are not approved in Canada and cannot be used on board Canadian aircraft? Only child restraint systems made in Canada, that meet Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) 213 or 213.1 are accepted for use on board an aircraft. A statement of compliance label must be affixed to the restraint system, indicating that the device complies with CMVSS 213 or 213.1 and may be used on board an aircraft.

Some child restraint devices made in the United States are also accepted on board aircraft if they meet certain criteria. However, it is important to note that child restraint systems made in the United States are not approved for use in Canadian automobiles. In either case, it is important to double-check that the proper label is affixed to the child restraint system.

Note also that CARES™ child aviation restraint system is now accepted on aircraft through a global exemption. Since airlines have a choice of whether or not to take advantage of this exemption, it is a good idea to check with your airline to find out if they accept the restraint system. You will find more information on the CARES™ child restraint system by visiting the appropriate link below.

Disorderly conduct
All passengers and crew members have the right to fly in a safe and secure environment. Disorderly conduct such as harassment, intimidation, verbal or physical abuse, refusal to comply with flight crew instructions, and consumption of personal alcoholic beverages, are all examples of behaviour that is not tolerated on an aircraft. Passengers displaying such behaviour are liable to a fine or imprisonment under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Aeronautics Act.

Indeed, if any of these behaviours are observed on an aircraft, the flight crew may decide to divert the aircraft, if deemed necessary, and the person(s) involved may be arrested, detained and tried when the aircraft lands, or once they have returned to their point of origin. A new regulation on unruly passengers and interference with a crew member was published in May 2007 in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

Your health is very important and small gestures or changes in habits can make your trip much more enjoyable. Did you know that alcohol, tea and coffee are diuretic beverages that actually have a dehydrating effect on you? The air circulating in an aircraft is very dry. It is therefore vital that you drink plenty of water or juice. Also, as a passenger, you are much more sedentary than you would be if you were working as a flight attendant. It is therefore important that you try to exercise a bit on the plane, especially during long flights. This also applies to the flight crew members working in the cockpit. You can easily do exercises in your seat without having to get up and move around. Simple movements like rotating your ankles, head and shoulders will improve your circulation and prevent problems such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Listed below are several links where you will find detailed information on the topics discussed above, which might prove very useful for your next trip. Have a good flight!

Transport Canada’s Cabin Safety Standards Web site:

Passenger T.I.P.S. (Travelling In Planes Safely) and FAQ:

Tips for Travellers—Air:

Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA):

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)

Info on dangerous goods in carry-on or checked baggage:

Permitted and Non-Permitted Items:

Flying with children links:;

New regulations on unruly passengers and interference with crew members:;


This article was published by Transport Canada in TP 185 Issue 3/2008 -. Reprinted with permission

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