South Korean airlines will soon be required to remind passengers that they must not attempt to open an emergency exit inflight or tamper with an airplane door. The new rule follows an incident in May when a passenger onboard an Asiana Airlines flight to Daegu successfully managed to open an emergency exit while the plane was still in the air.
The South Korean government has drawn up an amendment to operating guidance for local airlines, which will require them to make an announcement warning passengers not to open or attempt to open an emergency exit without good cause.
The operating guidance currently compels airlines to make an announcement warning passengers about smoking inflight, using electronic devices and interfering with crew members, and that these actions could result in criminal prosecution.
The draft amendment will be made available for public review until December 14 and if approved, passengers will be warned that tampering with an emergency exit could result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
The change in legislation follows an alarming incident on May 26 when a man managed to open an unstaffed emergency exit on an Asiana Airlines-operated Airbus A321 aircraft as it was on final approach to Daegu Airport.
At high altitudes, airplane doors can’t physically be opened due to the change in pressure between the inside and outside of the airplane, but at lower altitudes, like in this case, it is technically possible to open an emergency exit when the airplane is flying.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.