Episode 007: Seat Safety and Cyber Security

Rotation

Welcome to episode 007 of the #PaxEx Podcast. Our guest is Marisa Garcia, who spent many years working for an aircraft interiors and safety manufacturer and was directly involved with the design, development and certification of major interiors programs. She has made the leap to journalism and now authors the Flight Chic blog, which she is developing into an intelligence source for the industry. She is also a regular contributor to Runway Girl Network.

On this week’s show, we look at how Ryanair is – gasp – finally getting *very* social with passengers, as evidenced by its recent #AskRyanair exchanges on Twitter, and we consider whether this complete shift in strategy will benefit the airline or strip it of its irreligious originality. The carrier, which wants to woo more business travelers, now says it will secure a deal with a global distribution system (GDS) by this summer.

We also dive into a 2001 study uncovered by Marisa Garcia about aircraft seat safety, which was detailed in an exclusive article on Runway Girl Network (complete with a link to the full report). The study, commissioned by the UK CAA, suggests that seats should be at least 19.6 inches wide to ensure passenger safety. Interestingly, the study went largely unnoticed due to the 9/11 attacks. Is it time for regulators to look at seat standards again? We think so. We also take the opportunity to ask Marisa about airbags in seat belts, and how airlines are using this mechanism to add more slimline seats to their aircraft.

Finally, we discuss why IATA has warned the industry about the importance of ensuring cyber-security of aircraft and aircraft systems. A groundbreaking new AirInsight study reveals that most airlines do not have a cyber-security plan for the tablet-based electronic flight bags (EFBs) used by their pilots. As ever, please feel free to share your feedback about this #PaxEx Podcast.