Take Five... Passenger Safety Briefings

Passenger Safety Briefings

Why, when and how should pilots present the passenger safety briefing?

Why: The safety briefing serves an important safety purpose for both passengers and crew.

Briefings prepare passengers for an emergency by providing them with information about the location and operation of emergency equipment that they may have to operate; and a well-briefed passenger will be better prepared in an emergency, thereby increasing survivability and lessening dependence on the crew to assist them.

When: When passengers are carried, a crew member must provide a standard safety briefing.

How: An oral briefing by a crew member or by audio or audio-visual means.

Content: The required standard safety briefing consists of four elements: prior to takeoff, after takeoff, in-flight resulting from turbulence and before passenger deplaning. An individual safety briefing must be provided to a passenger who is unable to receive information contained within the standard safety briefing, such as visually impaired passengers, hearing-impaired passengers, and adults with infants.

Common problems: No public address system; too much noise in the cabin, making it impossible for passengers to hear; short flights, leaving no time for in-flight briefing. If you are facing any of these problems, conduct the briefing before the engine start-up and combine the after takeoff and turbulence portions with the prior to takeoff briefing. For example, inform the passengers that seat belts must be fastened during takeoff, landing, turbulence and that it is advisable that seat belts remain fastened during the cruise portion of flight.

The passengers appear uninterested? Make the briefing informative and interesting in order to maintain passenger attention. Face the passengers, establish eye contact and speak at a slower-than-normal rate.

Never skip the safety briefing at a passenger's request. Frequent flier passengers are often unaware that equipment locations and operation can vary on the same aircraft type. The time and effort taken in delivering an effective safety briefing benefits both passengers and flight crew.

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