Cabin crew members play a key role with regard to passenger and operational safety. The number of cabin crew on board, and their performance, are significant factors in the successful evacuation of aircraft. Therefore, a minimum number of cabin crew members are required to effectively conduct a timely evacuation and increase the survivability of passengers during an accident.
ICAO Annex 6 — Operation of Aircraft, Part I — International Commercial Air Transport — Aeroplanes requires that an operator establish the minimum number of cabin crew required for each aircraft type in its fleet. The goal of this requirement is to allow for a safe and expeditious evacuation of the aircraft, and to enable cabin crew to carry out the necessary functions to be performed in an emergency or a situation requiring emergency evacuation. ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) do not provide a numeric value (e.g. exact number of cabin crew) needed for the operator to comply with Annex 6 requirements. The minimum number of cabin crew members required for each aircraft type in an operator's fleet must be approved by the State of the Operator. The ratio of cabin crew members to floor-level exits should also be considered when establishing minimum crew.
As demonstrated by accident investigations and research studies, as well as manufacturer recommendations, floor-level exits should be assigned to cabin crew members so that they are attended in the event of an emergency evacuation. The presence of cabin crew members at exits is needed in order to effectively operate them and provide passenger management during an evacuation. One cabin crew member should be assigned per floor-level exit as a means to mitigate the risk associated with unsupervised exits during emergency evacuations.
ICAO developed the Manual on the Establishment of Minimum Cabin Crew Requirements (Doc 10072) in order to provide guidance on provisions in Annex 6 Part I related to the assignment of emergency duties and the minimum number of cabin crew required on board commercial passenger flights. It addresses:
Certification requirements related to the number of cabin crew on board an aircraft type
Operational requirements, including States' operating rules related to minimum crew
Planning and conduct of emergency evacuation and ditching demonstrations
Considerations when establishing minimum cabin crew numbers
Modifying the minimum cabin crew requirements
Additional considerations for cabin crew, such as mixed fleet operations
Guidance for personnel assigned non-safety and non-emergency duties in the cabin
The ICAO Manual on the Establishment of Minimum Cabin Crew Requirements (Doc 10072) is now available to States in English on the ICAO-NET at http://portal.icao.int/