SAA passengers hit the scales to ensure aircraft safety


South African Airways (SAA) has introduced a passenger weighing survey in an attempt to reduce the chance of overloading its aircraft.

Captain Johnny Woods, head of flight operations said, "This is critical…because an aircraft can run off a runway. It can be catastrophic if we don’t do this."

He said the airline wanted to prevent aviation incidents similar to that which took place at George Airport last week when an aircraft, carrying 30 passengers, overshot a runway and landed near the N2 freeway.

Woods said SAA wanted to weigh all its passengers and their hand luggage to ensure that flights were not overloaded.

"The information is then used, with the average weights of cargo, fuel and checked-in baggage, to calculate the correct and safe take-off and landing weight of an aircraft," he said at a media briefing at OR Tambo International Airport.

The survey is done every five years and the company begun to weigh 4 000 passengers travelling on international, regional and domestic routes, on Tuesday. About 300 crew members will also be weighed.

Woods said the exercise, which was only being carried out in Johannesburg, was in line with the operator’s focus on safety of passengers.

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F
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