Article 37 of the Chicago Convention authorises the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to adopt and amend as appropriate Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) related to personnel licensing. Safety-critical personnel subject to licensing include pilots, flight navigators, flight engineers, aircraft maintenance engineers, air traffic controllers, flight dispatchers and aeronautical station operators.
Unlike for pilots and other safety-critical personnel, there is not a global requirement that cabin crew, or flight attendants, be certificated or licensed in order to work in air carrier or commercial operations. Some States, however, set standards for flight attendant training programs in their national regulatory structures. Transport Canada, for example, requires that commercial air carriers that employ flight attendants “must have an approved training program” that follows the Flight Attendant Training Standard (TP12296). Transport Canada also requires that certain content be included in flight attendant manuals, including information on safety and emergency procedures, first aid, safety and emergency equipment, and aircraft-specific information about procedures and equipment.
Both the European Community (EC) and the United States require some form of cabin crew certification for individuals wishing to work in commercial air transportation.
An individual wishing to work as a cabin crewmember in commercial air transport within an EC member State must hold a valid cabin crew attestation (CCA). The CCA is a certificate of professional competency that permits the holder to discharge the duties of cabin crew on EC-registered aircraft. To be eligible for a CCA, an individual must be at least 18 years of age and have successfully completed the required initial training course and the associated examination in accordance with EASA Aircrew Regulation Part-CC. In addition, certain air operations regulations, aircraft type training and medical fitness requirements must be met.
In the United States, flight attendants, defined as individuals who work in the cabin of an aircraft that has 20 or more seats and is operated by a Federal Aviation Regulations Part 121 air carrier or Part 135 on-demand/charter operator, must hold a certificate of demonstrated proficiency issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The certificate is issued after an air carrier notifies FAA that an individual has successfully completed all the training requirements for flight attendants contained in the carrier’s FAA-approved flight attendant training program.