Operators of Airbus A220s are being instructed to check the emergency slides of passenger exits to ensure that safety pins are removed from escape slide inflation canisters.

The urgent directive has been issued by Transport Canada.

It states that inspections of two forward passenger slides of in-service aircraft found that the inflation valve safety pin was installed on the nitrogen canister.

The directive says that the pins might also be installed on other aircraft – and that the aft exits on the type could similarly be affected.

A220-300-c-Romain Coupy Creative Commons

Source: Romain Coupy/Creative Commons

Both the -300 and -100 variants of the A220 have six passenger exits

“Failure to remove the inflation valve safety pin can prevent the deployment of the affected escape slides during an emergency evacuation,” it states.

Both the -100 and -300 variants of the A220 have six exits, including the two overwing doors.

Transport Canada says the safety-pin finding could therefore potentially affect two-thirds of the passenger exits in an emergency.

Operators of a number of -100 and -300 airframes have been told to check whether the pins are installed and, if so, remove and stow them in the slide pouch before further flight.