British Airways are offering a Flight Safety Awareness Course to increase knowledge and awareness of safety procedures and give them the opportunity to experience a simulated aircraft evacuation from a smoke-filled Boeing 737 cabin simulator.
MailOnline reports that participants in the half day course learn to open real aircraft doors and over-wing exits, fit life jackets, jump down emergency evacuation slides and go through a smoke chamber.
The team of six safety instructors are all former cabin crew or flight engineers.
Far from a dull lecture, the class are seated in a full motion Boeing 737 simulator, experience the usual safety demonstration, taxi and takeoff as usual before the cabin fills with smoke and the passengers are ‘evacuated’.
Afterwards, the class is given a full debrief with advice on techniques and procedure, as well as tips for travelling safely both on board and in hotels. Participants are told what to do in the event of ditching over water, and loss of cabin pressure.
‘Customers will learn what they should and should not do in just about any emergency situation that could happen on an aircraft, any airline’s aircraft,’ Flight Safety Awareness Course leader, Andy Clubb tells MailOnline.
‘They get the opportunity to ask any questions that they have ever had about flying and flight safety to British Airways’ experienced training team.
‘The most important thing they will learn is just how staggeringly safe flying is and how much is invested in crew training.’
Since its inception in 2003, more than 15,000 people have taken the course. While most participants are employees of corporate companies, individuals are able to participate in classes with spare places available.
The recent air disasters have not resulted in an increase in bookings for the course so far, Clubb says. ‘Most courses are booked by people who have heard about the course from previous delegates who have recommended it to colleagues and friends,’ he says.
‘It ultimately demonstrates just how safe flying is.’
The Flight Safety Awareness Course was originally designed for the petrochemical industry who fly their staff to wherever oil and gas is located in the world.
‘This can be in some very remote and unusual places that are not always served by national airlines,’ says Clubb. ‘They request the course as part of their Corporate and Social Responsibility towards their staff.’
The courses take place at BA’s Cranebank training centre near Heathrow.