Seatbelt and Child Safety Seat Requirements

Regulatory Requirements

International and local civil aviation regulations require that passengers fasten seatbelts when the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign is illuminated. Seatbelts must be securely fastened for take-off, landing and during turbulence. Seatbelts should be fastened throughout flight, as a precaution against unexpected turbulence.

Crew Member Responsibilities

The Captain has overall responsibility for passenger safety on flights. The “Fasten Seatbelt” sign is illuminated for take-off, landing and in flight, where turbulence is forecasted or encountered. Usually, an advisory announcement is made to passengers when turbulent conditions are expected or encountered, and a request made for them to fasten their seatbelts.

Cabin crew members are responsible for:

  • Briefing passengers on how to fasten, tighten and unfasten seatbelts
  • informing passengers that their seatbelts must be fastened whenever the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign is illuminated and  at any time while they are seated
  • informing passengers that they must obey the instructions of the cabin crew regarding the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign
  • Visually checking that passengers have securely fastened their seatbelts whenever the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign has been illuminated, . During flight, visual checks of seatbelts are also made, once the cabin crew members can move about without compromising their own safety.

Passenger Responsibilities

Passengers are responsible for:

  • knowing how to fasten and, tighten seatbelt across their hips, and unfastening their seatbelts
  • fastening their seatbelt when the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign has been illuminated, and while seated during the flight, in the event of unexpected turbulence
  • obeying cabin crew member instructions regarding the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign.

Child Safety Seat

Children under 2 years old are held on an adult’s lap during air transportation. For better protection, regulatory authorities recommend that all children, regardless of age, use an appropriate restraint based on their weight and size.

The recommendations are that a child:

  • under 9kg/20lbs be placed in a rear-facing child restraint;
  • from 9kg/20 lbs – 18kg/40lbs be placed in a forward-facing child restraint; and
  • over 18kg/40lbs, use an aircraft seatbelt.

Safety technology for forward-facing child restraint systems in aircraft is still being developed, however, current child restraint systems offer better protection, compared to lap-held or unrestrained children.

Airlines only accept approved child restraint systems for use on the aircraft. An approved child restraint system (CRS) has a label stating “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft”. If you are planning to travel with small children, contact the airline regarding its child restraint system policy and any applicable charges. See our Child Restraint Brochure for additional tips.