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FAA response to blanket stowage questions – May 12, 2008

There have been many emails circulating through various groups regarding blankets being randomly placed through out the cabin (in between the headrest) by F/As prior to pax boarding. Emails have mistakenly reported that the FAA doesn’t view this as problem. A West Coast FAA employee wrote an email to a F/A stating he did not view the blanket issue as a potential problem. Unfortunately this individual does not work in the FAA Southwest Region Certificate Management Office (CMO) which holds and regulates the American Airlines certificate.

I checked with our FAA Cabin Safety Inspector (CSI) this week and yes it is true: The blankets can not be placed (wedged) in between the headrest. Our FAA region office views this as a potential safety hazard. These are considered cabin items supplied by the airline. F/As may pass them out to a passengers during boarding. If a passenger takes them at that point it is their intention to use the item and they may keep the blanket. F/As are to make sure the blankets are not thrown on the floor by paxs potentially obstructing flow if an evacuation is necessary. F/C Duvets are to be placed all the way under the seat if paxs don’t use them or stowed in the OH bins.

Below is an email that was sent by our FAA CSI regarding the issue. Hopefully this will clear up any misinformation that appears to be circulating regarding the subject.


Lonny,

The bottom line from the Southwest Region of the FAA is, blankets are
considered an obstruction, and are used by the FAA in Evacuation
Demonstrations as per FAR 25.561 Appendix J. Since the FAA considers these
items an obstruction they MUST be stowed for taxi, take off and landing.
Carriers including American provide a place for these items to be stowed,
such as an overhead bin. If a carrier submitted a procedure to the FAA
stating they were going to wedge them between headrests or seatback
pockets, the FAA would NOT accept this as a standard procedure.

I hope this helps with the answer. One Inspector in the Western Region may
not think its a problem, but the Region and Office that hold your operating
certificate think it is an issue.

Travis Blower
Federal Aviation Administration
Aviation Safety Inspector – Cabin Safety
AMR CMO – American Airlines

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After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
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APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
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