• In Europe, evacuation certification is governed by the Joint Aviation Requirements, while in the USA the rules are known as the Federal Aviation Regulations.
  • In addition to design rules such as those governing the 18.3m (60ft) minimum spacing of exits on the same side and the same deck is a performance-based requirement commonly known as the "90-second certification test".
  • Compliance with this rule is demonstrated by performing a full-scale evacuation demonstration, performed in darkness, using only half of the normally available exits and a population that satisfies an age and gender mix specified in the rules, selected by the manufacturer and approved by the regulatory authority.
  • Crew and passengers do not know beforehand which exits will be made available. The test involves evacuating all passengers and crew to the ground (using slides if fitted) within 90s.
  • A complete video record is made of the event including behaviour within the cabin and at the exits. The video recordings of the evacuations are a valuable source of data concerning the performance level achieved.

Source: Flight International