A320 overhead bin maker cites overloading in latch problem

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Aircraft interiors specialist FACC says it shares Airbus's belief that the overhead bin latch problem being reported by some Airbus A320 family aircraft operators is a result of the regular overloading of bins by passengers.

Last week US Airways brought the bin latch problem to light when it reported in its employee newsletter that it has experienced "a decrease in bin latch reliability" on new-delivery Airbus narrowbodies.

Airbus has been working with FACC, the overhead bin supplier, to investigate the reason for the latch issues but says it believes the main root cause is the frequent overloading of overhead bins, beyond the aircraft specification.

FACC in a statement to ATI and Flightglobal today says: "FACC is aware of an issue involving overhead bin latches on A320 family aircraft, and our analysis with Airbus has shown that this is due to overloading of the bin, and does not impact flight safety."

The problem has surfaced at a time when a growing number of carriers - including US Airways - are charging passengers for checked luggage, leading some industry observers to surmise that passengers are carrying on more luggage.

However, US Airways, whose narrowbody fleet also includes Boeing 737s and Embraer 190s, has not publicised problems with other latches.

US Airways could not provide immediate further comment.