Determination of the minimum required number of cabin crew on an aircraft
NOTE: The purpose of this FAQ is to explain how the operator and the Competent Authority (National Aviation Authority) conclude the minimum number of cabin crew required on the operator’s aircraft. This FAQ does not provide specific numbers for aircraft types or individual aircraft. The minimum number of cabin crew may vary on each aircraft, depending on the certification history of that aircraft. To learn the minimum number of cabin crew on your aircraft, please, consult your Competent Authority. To have a better view and understanding of the explanation below, this FAQ should be read together with the rule ORO.CC.100 (Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on air operations).
Minimum number of cabin crew is established during the certification process of the aircraft and this number must be clearly written in the certification documentation (reference: EASA Certification Memorandum CM-CS-008, issued on 03 July 2017). The ‘certification documentation’ is the Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) or the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC).
Therefore, in order to establish the minimum number of cabin crew on the operator’s aircraft, as specified in ORO.CC.100(b)(1) of Regulation (EU) No 965/2012, the operator/National Aviation Authority must check the aircraft certification documentation and apply the number written in the certification documentation.
However, historically, not all aircraft had the number of minimum cabin crew written in the certification documentation, or even established during the certification process. In this case, the operator may use the calculation method specified in ORO.CC.100(b)(2) of Regulation (EU) No 965/2012.
Certification documentation of the operator’s aircraft issued:
- Before 3rd July 2017: if the certification documentation does not include the number of minimum cabin crew or the number has not been established for the aircraft, you may apply the calculation method specified in ORO.CC.100(b)(2)).
- After 3rd July 2017: you must apply the number of minimum cabin crew specified in the certification documentation in accordance with the rule ORO.CC.100(b)(1).
The development stage of Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 (‘AIR OPS’) initially did not include the paragraph (b)(2) in ORO.CC.100, i.e. the ‘1 per 50’ calculation. This inclusion was done last minute and it resulted in the overall lack of clarity of ORO.CC.100(b). To help with the implementation, EASA published Safety Information Bulletin (SIB) 2014-29, which provided detailed information on how to comply with ORO.CC.100. The SIB was supported by the EU Members States, however resulted in a strong opposition by EU operators. As a result, discussions were held in 2015 between EASA and IATA/IACA on the application of ORO.CC.100(b), i.e. how to establish the minimum required number of cabin crew. As an outcome of these discussions, on 7th December 2015 EASA communicated to the stakeholders the ‘EASA conclusions following the consultation on the proposed Certification Memo and Safety Information Bulletin on minimum cabin crew for twin‐aisle aeroplanes’.
On 3rd July 2017, EASA published the above-mentioned Certification Memorandum EASA-CM-CS-008. This document clarifies to aircraft manufacturers and design organisations that the number of cabin crew assumed in their evacuation certification activity must be clearly stated in their documentation. Following the publication of this Certification Memorandum, the TCDSs have been amended to include the minimum number of cabin crew. Some aircraft manufacturers have amended their TCDSs even before the publication of this Certification Memorandum.
There may be cases where the minimum number of cabin crew for the operator’s aircraft will be different (e.g. lower) than the number written in the TCDS. Such a change must be approved by EASA and such an aircraft will hold a Supplemental Type Certificate. STC means that it was demonstrated that the aircraft cabin configuration used by the operator is compliant with the applicable certification specifications with a lower number of cabin crew members than the number specified in the TCDS. If the operator’s aircraft holds a STC, the number of minimum cabin crew written in the STC will be applicable to that aircraft.