Susan Rice

Aviation Consultant / Cabin Safety Specialist

Sue entered the industry as a member of cabin crew in 1975. She was with one of the two domestic operators in Australia, Trans Australia Airlines, TAA – subsequently in 1993 to become the Short Haul Division of Qantas. She achieved and maintained a number of leadership roles during her career in training and safety management.

In 1999 Sue was successful in becoming the first Cabin Safety Inspector with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia, CASA.

During her 14 years at CASA, among other achievements she represented Australia at ICAO on several working groups, not the least of which was being an inaugural participant in the Cabin Safety Regulatory Panel which is still doing amazing, ground breaking work, being expertly chaired by Martin Maurino. She has achieved many milestones of which she is proud, however, one of her career highlights was to be part of the Regulatory Team responsible for the introduction of the Airbus A380 into Australia. Qantas Airways being the second operator, behind Singapore Airlines to take delivery.

Sue is currently Chair of the Asia Pacific Cabin Safety Working Group, which is an active regional industry group that was established in 1993. She accepted the nomination of Chair just over 3½ years ago. The Group is a forum for collaboration between all those within industry, and those with industry affiliations who seek to improve survivability within the cabin. It is all encompassing and as such there is always something to be gained by attendance and participation.

Sue is here today to pose some challenging questions to those responsible for educating and informing the aviation travelling public in matters of safety and ultimately what could result in survival.

Passenger Education

In the first instance, is there acknowledgement for the notion that passengers should be better educated about the reality of the environment they are paying to put themselves into? With direct reference to passengers in the cabin of an aircraft, what does the word ‘education’ actually mean? 

If we had a clean slate without any limiting factors, and given the many and varied aspects that could be involved in the education, how far could we go in outlining the survival factors if there were to be a severe incident or accident?

Does the Regulator have a role to play?  Will it be more involved than pre-flight briefings?  

Having achieved a comprehensive outline for our education program, what would be the perceived restraints within an airline operator to implementing such measures?

With an accepting and willing industry, or operator, where to begin with the process of passenger education and what is to be our expected outcome?