South African Airways (SAA) is examining ways to reduce the disturbance caused to pilots using the crew rest compartment on its Airbus A340-600s, after complaints that noise from an adjacent galley is keeping them awake.
The compartment is located on the main deck, between the flightdeck and forward galley, and pilots say noise is causing them fatigue, posing a serious safety threat.
SAA management says its pilots had initially assessed and approved the compartment, but have since found the galley noisier than first thought.
Executive vice-president commercial Adrian Hamilton-Manns says: "Our operations and technical teams, along with the pilots and Airbus, are working on ways of fixing this.
"We're looking at the behaviour of the crew. It might well just be an issue of moving more of the operation to the aft galley. That does cause some problems with configuration, but I'm sure we can work around that."
The airline has already dismissed pilots' objections to sharing the first-class toilet with passengers, after the pilots said it was unacceptable to have to queue up before final approach. On SAA's old 747s, the toilets by the cockpit were cordened off for pilots' use, but SAA says it is common practice for pilots in other airlines to share facilities with passengers.
HILKA BIRNS/CAPE TOWN
Source: Flight International