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House of Representatives Committees

| House of Representatives Infrastructure and Communications

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Preliminary Pages

Membership of the Committee


Ms Sharon Bird MP


Deputy Chair

Mr Paul Neville MP



Mr Paul Fletcher MP

Mr Robert Oakeshott MP


Mr Ed Husic MP

Mrs Jane Prentice MP


Mr Stephen Jones MP

Mr Mike Symon MP

Committee Secretariat


Ms Julia Morris

Researcher Officers

Mr Shane Armstrong
Mr James Nelson

Administrative Officers

Ms Tamara Palmer


Mr Peter Pullen

Terms of reference

The Committee is to inquire into the assignment and ratio of cabin crew to those aircraft that require the carriage of cabin crew under current regulations.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is currently considering a regulatory proposal that addresses the assignment of cabin crew members to aircraft that require that carriage of cabin crew. Under the current arrangements, operators of Australian domestic aircraft carrying more than 15 but not more than 216 passengers are required to carry at least one cabin crew member for each 36 passengers or part thereof 1:36).

Since 2006, CASA has permitted a number of Australian operators to operate certain aircraft with a ratio of one cabin crew member up to a maximum of 50 passenger seats.

CASA has proposed to implement the 1:50 cabin crew-passenger seat ratio for aircraft configurations of between 20 and 216 passengers with the gaining of approval conditional upon on an operator having in place a CASA-approved safety management risk plan.

In response to this proposal, a number of issues have been raised, which would benefit from further consideration.

The Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications will inquire into and report on:

  • the current aviation safety regulatory system for aircraft operators in relation to the application of the cabin crew to passenger ratio including current exemption provisions;

  • the role of cabin crew in managing both passenger safety and security;

  • the factors that determine the cabin crew to passenger ratio;

  • domestic and international practice in respect of cabin crew to passenger ratios; and

  • measures to enhance aviation safety that may be considered in future requirements on aircraft operators for a safety risk management plan covering the cabin crew to passenger ratio.

    List of recommendations

    Recommendation 1

    That the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the Office of Transport Safety work together to determine an appropriate level of passenger compartment security for Australian domestic flights, taking into account previous incidents both in Australia and abroad.

    Recommendation 2

    That the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider passenger compartment security in any future review of cabin crew ratios.

    Recommendation 3

    That, prior to finalising the process, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority publish on its website all non-confidential submissions made to it through the Notice of Proposed Rule Making process.

    Recommendation 4

    That the Civil Aviation Safety Authority advertise Notices of Proposed Rule Making that directly affect passengers in publications that are widely read by the travelling public, such as in-flight magazines, and that CASA seek submissions from the public into the advertised Notices of Proposed Rule Making.

    Recommendation 5

    That the Civil Aviation Safety Authority ensure that Australia becomes compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Standards and Recommended Practices relating to cabin crew flight and duty time limitations as a matter of priority.

    Recommendation 6

    That the Civil Aviation Safety Authority cease providing new exemptions to the 1:36 cabin crew ratio currently mandated by Civil Aviation Order 20.16.3, and that all exemptions to the Order currently in place not be renewed upon expiry.

    Recommendation 7

    That the 1:36 ratio be retained until such a time that it can be demonstrated that a change to a 1:50 cabin crew ratio in Australia will not result in reduced levels of safety or security.


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