How a 747 design change proposal spurred the ’60-foot rule’

United Airlines’ final charter flight to say goodbye to the airline’s fleet of 747 airccraft, was quite a party and you can see my story and photos on the event on the Runway Girl Network.

But during all the hoopla, a representative of the flight attendant’s union mentioned to me that debate over a change in the 747 design back in the mid-1980s spurred an important safety rule – the FAA’s 60-foot rule – that applies to just about all airplanes today.

The short version of the story is that in 1984 Boeing proposed taking out a set of exit doors on the 747 jumbo jet to make more room for seats. Flight attendants and pilots – and their unions – raised concerns over the ability to get everyone off the plane in an emergency without those doors and pushed back.

The Federal Aviation Administration ruled on the side of safety.

Read my full story on how this came about in my Runway Girl Network story here.

Photo courtesy Boeing Company

SFO gets FEMA OK for Wireless Emergency Alerts

Here’s a smart – and potentially life-saving new airport service:

Almost exactly a year after a gunman killed 5 people at Fort Lauderdale International Airport comes word that an airport on the other side of the country – San Francisco International – is the first US airport to get approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue Wireless Emergency Alerts to any cellphone on airport grounds.

No special app or subscription service is needed in order for a mobile phone on airport grounds to receive a Wireless Emergency Alert Message, but the “Emergency Alerts” tab under the “Government Alerts” section of a phone setting has to be turned on. (Look for this under “Notifications,” in the same area where you find the Amber Alert tab)

According to SFO, if there’s an incident, emergency or situation which requires critical and potentially life-saving information to be shared immediately with airport employees, passengers and the public at the airport, designated and specially-trained staff will use the system to send a text message, accompanied by an audible alert, to mobile phones on site.

“Safety and security are our highest priorities, and we continue to enhance our emergency response capabilities,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero in a statement announcing the service, “Being the first airport in the U.S. approved to issue Wireless Emergency Alerts gives us an important tool to help keep people safe during an emergency.”

This seems like a truly valuable service that will hopefully spread to other airports.

See Singapore Airlines’ glamorous new safety video

Singapore Airlines has unveiled its new in-flight safety video, which not only reminds passengers of the safety procedures to be mindful of, but takes viewers on a panoramic journey across Singapore.

In the video, passengers follow the Singapore Girl as she travels to landmarks such as Boat Quay, The Intan Peranakan Home Museum, River Safari, Haji Lane, Adventure Cove Waterpark, Henderson Waves, Capitol Theatre and Gardens by the Bay.


Take a look: