FAA Sets Safety Conditions for 787's Crew Rest Compartments

Boeing's second Dreamliner completed its first flight on Dec. 22 from Everett, Wash., to Seattle. The first production aircraft will be delivered next year to Japan's All Nippon Airways.

The Federal Aviation Administration has published the safety conditions for unique crew rest compartments Boeing has incorporated into the 787 Dreamliner, a new, twin-engine jetliner that will have a maximum takeoff weight of 476,000 pounds and maximum passenger count of 381 passengers when in commercial use, according to FAA's notices in the Federal Register. The second Dreamliner completed its first flight Dec. 22 from Everett, Wash., to Seattle; the first production aircraft will be delivered next year to Japan's All Nippon Airways. The notices, published Jan. 4, proposed special conditions for two overhead rest compartments, one that members of the flight crew could occupy during taxiing, takeoffs, and landings (TT&L) and a larger one that flight attendants would not occupy during TT&L.

The notices listed the conditions and invited comments on them by Feb. 18 to Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Airplane Directorate, Attn: Rules Docket (ANM-113), Docket No. NM412, 1601 Lind Ave. SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356.

The attendant rest compartment will be installed above the main passenger cabin adjacent to an exit door. It will be accessed from the main deck by stairs through a vestibule. This compartment "will contain six private berths, an emergency hatch that opens directly into the main passenger cabin area, a smoke detection system, an oxygen system, and various occupant amenities," according to the notice, which said crew rest compartments have been installed and certificated on several Boeing airplane models "in locations as varied as the main passenger seating area, the overhead space above the main passenger cabin seating area, and below the passenger cabin seating area within the cargo compartment."

Special conditions are used because these designs aren't addressed by applicable airworthiness regulations. The proposed special conditions for the attendant compartment include:

  • Maximum occupancy of the compartment is six, and there must be an approved seat or berth able to withstand the maximum flight loads when occupied for each occupant permitted in the compartment.
  • Appropriate placards inside and outside each entrance to the compartment note that occupancy is restricted to crewmembers who are trained in evacuation procedures for the compartment and smoking is prohibited in the compartment.
  • When no flight attendant is present in the area around the door to the compartment and in the event of an emergency, there must be a means to prevent passengers from entering the compartment.
  • There must be at least two emergency evacuation routes for use by each occupant of the compartment to rapidly evacuate to the main cabin, and those routes must be able to be closed from the main passenger cabin after evacuation.

FAA said the flight crew compartment's occupancy during TT&L will be limited to two flight crewmembers trained in the evacuation, firefighting, and depressurization procedures of the compartment, and an airplane flight manual limitation must be established to restrict occupancy to those the pilot in command has determined are able to use both evacuation routes rapidly. FAA said it does not believe this compartment requires an external exit.

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