EUROPEAN AVIATION REGULATORS SAID THEY WON’T ADOPT RECENT

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore March 17, 2011 20:41

EUROPEAN AVIATION REGULATORS SAID THEY WON’T ADOPT RECENT

US ANTITERRORIST RULES The EU has side stepped away from mandating that aircraft carriers disable or remove oxygen generators in plane bathrooms, saying they lack legal authority to call for the change. The Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year ordered US airlines to modify the oxygen equipment, after determining that such generators, designed to supply oxygen in bathrooms during airborne emergencies, could potentially be used by terrorists or hijackers to spark a fire or attack passengers. The European Aviation Safety Agency has now disclosed that it won’t follow the FAA’s lead in disabling the devices. This week, EASA posted information on its website indicating that the agency has concluded such a mandate “does not fall within the scope” of authority granted by the European Commission.

Some European carriers and national regulators voluntarily have decided to comply with the security mandate issued by the FAA.

The FAA’s move has prompted some questions from pilots, who are concerned that passengers in lavatories may be at risk if such depressurization occurs.

In a statement the FAA said “rapid decompression events on commercial aircraft are extremely rare.” The agency also noted that “pilots are already trained to guide the aircraft to a safe, breathable altitude as quickly as possible.”

According to the FAA, flight attendants also are “trained to assist passengers to quickly access oxygen—including those in the lavatories.” The agency reiterated that if oxygen masks are deployed, flight attendants should make it a high priority to check whether any toilets are occupied.

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore March 17, 2011 20:41
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