SEOUL – Four Korean airlines are assigning their emergency exit seats first to uniformed personnel, including police officers and firefighters, in an effort to prevent the reoccurrence of an incident in which a passenger opened an emergency exit door before landing.
Representative Park Dae-chul, of the ruling People Power Party, said the new seating scheme, as approved by the government, will be implemented starting July 31.
He said the scheme would apply to 94 seats in 38 aircraft operated by Asiana Airlines, Air Seoul, Air Busan and Aero K Airlines.
Firefighters, police officers, soldiers and airline employees will have priority to take these seats, he said.
The idea was floated after a couple of incidents involving unauthorised access to the emergency door.
In May, one passenger opened the emergency door minutes before landing. The door was reportedly open for eight minutes until the plane landed.
In June, an 18-year-old attempted to open the door an hour after the plane took off. THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK