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UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

AAIB Bulletin: 5/2021 G-ZBKF AAIB-26975

Safety Recommendation: 2021-017

Safety Recommendation Text

2021-017: It is recommended that the Civil Aviation Authority require that passenger seats in commercial air transport aircraft are designed to minimise the chance of portable electronic devices becoming crushed in mechanisms.

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CAA latest update

The UK CAA design and certification specialists are actively attending the SAE1 International Seat Committee meetings to discuss the entrapment of Portable Electronic Devices (PED) and how this can be mitigated. In addition, guidance is being drafted to prevent entrapment of occupant limbs within seat mechanisms, and many of the mitigating factors would have a positive impact on PED entrapment.

The committee are reviewing the minimum performance standards for seats, with the view to taking recently published recommended practise from SAE ARP5526 Rev F, section 3.30 (object entrapment) and including as a requirement within SAE AS8049, which would be referenced in a future revision of CS-ETSO2 (ETSO-C127). AS 8049 is currently being reworked to convert the document into a set of requirements shown in a compliance matrix format.

For reference, the current revision of seat TSO within the UK system is currently C127b, which references ARP5526 Rev C. We are currently consulting on the introduction of C127c, which references ARP5526 Rev D, which aligns us with both EASA and the FAA. Note that object entrapment is not introduced until ARP5526 Rev F, so this update would not levy any requirements relating to object entrapment.

It should also be noted that referencing object entrapment within the TSO minimum performance standards would only be applicable to the equipment so would not fully mitigate scenarios involving other installations (e.g. seat furniture, monuments etc). To fully mitigate this, we are investigating including requirements at the installation level (e.g. CS-23/25/27/29 etc).

The UK CAA specialists have also started to engage with other regulators with a view to harmonise the approach to introducing requirements to prevent PED entrapment. The FAA have recently released an AMOC (https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2023-08-04/pdf/2023-16094.pdf) which allows the use of SAE AS6960, section 3.2.3 (object entrapment) as an acceptable means of compliance to 25.601 and 25.1301(a)(4). EASA are considering other options such referencing PED entrapment (not just for seats) in the next
issue of CS25 as an AMC to 25.601 and/or 25.1301(a)(4) and/or referencing ARP5526 Rev F 3.30 in their up-issue of CS-ETSO 127c to CS-ETSO 127d as an amendment to the standards. It is the UK CAA intention to work closely with EASA as UK CAA share concurrence in the approach which will ensure harmonisation.

The UK CAA will continue to monitor PED entrapment events through the requirements of CAA Regulation UK Reg (EU) 376/2014 (as retained and amended in UK domestic Law under the European Union withdrawal Act 2018), through its engagement in the SAE seat committee and discussion with other regulators.

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