CASA to give green light for pets flying in aircraft cabins

A smiling puppy looking out of an airplane window while in flight.

Regulations around flying with your furry little friends are set to be relaxed in December, as Australia’s aviation safety regulator signals a spate of amendments.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) said new operating and flight rules that come into effect on 2 December would include handing down the decision of whether assistant animals are allowed to travel in the cabin over to airlines.

In a document outlining the changes, CASA recommended that operators update their procedures to include “acceptance of animals for carriage in the cabin of the aircraft”.

Previously, airlines needed written permission from CASA to carry animals on a flight.

The regulation requires operators to take reasonable steps to ensure flight safety is not adversely affected including rules around the restraint and control of the animal, and ensuring water provided for the animal and its “excreta” will be contained.

CASA said airlines should also take into account the reason why the animal needs to be in the cabin, its training, access to emergency exits, and passenger’s allergies and phobias towards the animal.

Qantas and Jetstar told Travel Weekly they won’t be updating their policies on animals in the cabin, but Travel Weekly understands Virgin Australia is still looking into it.

Other changes to CASA’s general operating and flight rules include giving airlines more flexibility around which portable electronic devices can be used by passengers, more options for the carriage of electronic documents and firearms, and restrictions around some in-flight emergency simulations.

Featured image source: iStock/Ryan Jello

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