Advisory Circular (AC) No. 700-012

Passenger Safety Briefings

Issuing Office: Standards    
Activity Area: Qualifying Document No.: AC 700-012
File No.: A 5500-15-1 U Issue No.: 01
RDIMS No.: 4121804-V11 Effective Date: 2009-03-16


This Advisory Circular (AC) is provided for information and guidance purposes. It may describe an example of an acceptable means, but not the only means, of demonstrating compliance with regulations and standards. This AC on its own does not change, create, amend or permit deviations from regulatory requirements, nor does it establish minimum standards.

1.1  Purpose

The purpose of this AC is to remind air operators of their responsibilities regarding passenger safety briefings and to recommend that passenger safety briefings include clear direction to leave all carry-on baggage behind during an evacuation.

1.2  Applicability

This document is applicable to commercial air operators conducting operations pursuant to Subparts 703, 704 and 705 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs).

1.3  Description of Changes

This document replaces Commercial and Business Aviation Advisory Circular (CBAAC) 0114R and CBAAC 0188. This AC provides additional guidance on the regulatory requirements of individual safety briefings, updated references and minor editorial changes. It also incorporates a recommended change to the pre-take off passenger safety briefing, pre-landing passenger safety briefing and passenger preparation for emergency landing briefing to include direction to leave all carry-on baggage behind during an emergency.


2.1  Reference Documents

It is intended that the following reference materials be used in conjunction with this document:

  1. Part VI, Subpart 02 of the CARs—Passenger Briefings;

  2. Part VII, Subpart 03 of the CARs—Briefing of Passengers;

  3. Part VII, Subpart 04 of the CARs—Briefing of Passengers;

  4. Part VII, Subpart 05 of the CARs—Briefing of Passengers;

  5. Standard 723 of the Commercial Air Service Standards  (CASS)—Briefing of Passengers;

  6. Standard 724 of the CASS—Briefing of Passengers;

  7. Standard 725 of the CASS—Briefing of Passengers;

  8. Advisory Circular (AC) 705-001, Issue 01, 2007-12-10Bilingual Briefings at Window Emergency Exits;

  9. Transport Canada Publications (TP) 12295, Edition 3, 2000-01-31Flight Attendant Manual Standard;

  10. TP 12296, Edition 2, 2008-04-01Flight Attendant Training Standard;

  11. Dahlberg & Associates, 1998—A Study of Canadian Air Carriers;

  12. P.J. Fennel and H.C. Muir, December 1992—Passenger Attitudes Towards Airline Safety Information and Comprehension of Safety Briefings and Cards;

  13. Aviation Safety Reflections, Issue 16, December 1996, p.27;

  14. Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada Aviation Investigation Reports A97H0011, A95C0110 and A05H0002;

  15. TSB recommendation A07-07; and

  16. Cabin Crew Safety, vol.39 No.6, November-December 2004—Crew Efforts Help Passengers Comprehend Safety Information.

2.2  Cancelled Documents

  1. CBAAC 0114R, 1998-10-23—Provision of Individual Safety Briefings; and

  2. CBAAC 0188, 2001-08-01—Passenger Safety Briefings.

2.3  Definitions and Abbreviations

The following definitions and abbreviations are used in this document:

  1. CARs: Canadian Aviation Regulations;

  2. CASS: Commercial Air Service Standards;

  3. PAOBD: Persons Assigned on Board Duties;

  4. TP: Transport Canada Publications; and

  5. TSB: Transportation Safety Board.


  1. Air operators frequently begin safety related briefings with “Transport Canada requires…” or, “Regulations state that …”. Although this practice may seem to accentuate the significance of the safety briefings, studies indicate that the perceived importance of safety briefings is significantly lessened when introduced with a statement stressing regulatory obligation for compliance rather than safety accountability. Passenger surveys suggest that the travelling public want the responsibility for their safety to be a shared concern, involving the air operator, the crew, the passenger and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA). Surveys also indicate that an apparent lack of endorsement by the air operator, as well as the lack of individual crew member responsibility, will often have a contradictory or negative impact on the information provided to the passengers.

  2. There is a perception amongst many air travellers that the majority of aviation accidents are not survivable and that there is little they can do to increase their personal survival abilities. TSB analysis of several accidents has stated that thorough safety briefings to passengers have increased the chances of survival for passengers. Accident survivors have also recalled the pre-flight safety briefing as being very thorough and performed in a professional manner.

  3. TCCA has received a number of passenger complaints that individual safety briefings for special needs passengers have not been given where required. Complainants have also indicated that when an individual briefing has been provided, the content has not always met the standards. Further, that the passenger is obliged to make a specific request for the briefing even when the need for one is obvious and the person has taken advantage of pre-boarding facilities.

  4. TCCA has been informed that individual safety briefings are often given to a travelling companion and not the person for whom the briefing is required. When the passenger requiring the briefing is capable of understanding the content, the briefing must be given to the passenger, not a companion.

  5. The CARs require that passengers are given a safety briefing in accordance with the applicable standards.

  6. Subsections 703.39(2), 704.34(2) and 705.43(3) of the CARs further require that where the standard safety briefing is insufficient for a passenger because of that passenger’s physical, sensory or comprehension limitations or because that passenger is responsible for another person on board the aircraft, the pilot-in-command shall ensure that the passenger is given an individual safety briefing that is appropriate to the passenger’s needs and meets the applicable standards.

  7. Subsections 723.39(2), 724.34(2) and 725.43(2) of the CARs require that individual safety briefings include any information contained in the standard safety briefing and the safety features card that the passengers would not be able to receive during the normal conduct of that safety briefing. This includes information required in the standard safety briefing prior to take off, after take off, turbulence, prior to landing and passenger disembarkment.

  8. Passenger complaints have identified that requirements are being misinterpreted and passengers who require individual safety briefings are only receiving one prior to take off.

  9. On flights scheduled for four hours duration or more, the pre-landing safety briefing and individual safety briefings must also include the location of emergency exits.

  10. The TSB’s investigation into the Air France runway over-run accident at Toronto Pearson International Airport identified that shouting to passengers to leave their carry-on baggage behind during an emergency evacuation is not an optimal time of understanding or adhering to critical safety information as passengers are highly stressed and the cabin noise level is high.

  11. The TSB and TCCA recommend that pre-landing passenger safety briefings include instructions for passengers to leave their personal effects behind should an evacuation be required on landing as it would likely help expedite an eventual evacuation.

  12. TCCA recommends that pre-take off passenger safety briefings and passenger preparation for emergency landing briefings include instructions for passengers to leave carry-on baggage behind in an evacuation.


  1. Briefings are an integral part of passenger safety and, as such, an educational opportunity.  Announcements therefore should focus on safety accountability to enhance passengers’ awareness and participation in their own safety (e.g. “For your safety…”, “As your safety is important to us…”). The terminology used and direction given in the safety briefings should emphasize the importance of listening to and observing safety briefings and announcements, being aware of the location of safety equipment (e.g. safety features cards, life preservers, exits, seatbelts) and the reasons for their active participation in safety.

  2. Air operators conducting operations in accordance with Subparts 703, 704, or 705 of the CARs are reminded of the regulatory requirements respecting the provision of individual safety briefings. In addition, these air operators are requested to take action as necessary to ensure that individual safety briefings are provided properly as required.

  3. In order to comply with regulatory requirements, TCCA recommends that air operators provide clarification to flight crew members, flight attendants and persons assigned on board duties (PAOBD) that individual safety briefings include all safety briefings, before take off, in-flight, during descent and at landing.

  4. TCCA recommends that pre-take off, pre-landing and preparation for emergency landing passenger safety briefings include clear direction to leave all carry-on baggage behind during an evacuation.


Air operators should consider the contents of this AC when developing and updating passenger safety briefings and reviewing terminology currently used to deliver safety briefings and announcements.


For more information, please contact:
Cabin Safety Standards (AARTI)

Phone: 1-800-305-2059 or 613-993-7284
Fax: 613-957-4208

Suggestions for amendment to this document are invited, and should be submitted via the TCCA Issues Reporting System (CAIRS) at the following Internet address:

or by e-mail at:

Original signed on March 19, 2009 by Ron Carter for Don Sherritt

D.B. Sherritt
Director Standards
Civil Aviation