Why do the cabin lights turn off on an airplane during takeoff and landing?

If you travel by plane, you may have wondered at some point why The lights in the passenger cabin are dimmed during takeoff and landingThere are several reasons for this and they all have to do with your safety, that of the crew, and with the fact that, statistically, It is at these times that most of the events occur. air accidents.

According to a study by Boeing which analyzed the events that occurred over almost half a century, between 1959 and 2007, 33% of the fatalities occurred during takeoff and another 33% during landingThe remaining 34% is divided between those that occurred during the descent maneuver (15%), while on the ground (10%) and only 9% while the plane was flying at cruising speed. Landing and takeoff are the most critical moments of a flight and that requires maximizing safety during these processes. Which brings us to why the cabin lights are turned off at these times. and why it is the best for passengers, far from being uncomfortable.

From a regulatory point of view, this procedure is supported by international aviation regulations and followed by all airlines. The regulations state that cabin lights must be adjusted to ensure that, in the event of an emergency, evacuation can be carried out quickly and safelyminimizing any additional risk. Dimming the light helps this goal for several reasons.

The first is that time is saved in the event of a possible eventuality in which it is necessary to react quickly If the passengers already have their eyes adapted to the darkThe human eye adapts more quickly to a bright environment than to a dark one, the latter being a process that takes time to complete. between 10 and 30 minutes.

This setting is crucial, since in the event of an emergency evacuation, The ability to see clearly in low light conditions can make the difference between a successful exit and a tragedy.. In addition, in the event that the outside environment is not illuminated, either due to the location or the time of day, The contrast will be less and will help prevent disorientation of passengers. and allow a rapid and orderly exit of the aircraft.

Another reason is that, with the cabin in semi-darkness, Emergency lights and exit signs are highlighted more clearly. These indications are vital in critical situations to guide passengers efficiently and quickly. In a dark environment, any light becomes a clear and direct guide, something essential in moments of panic and confusion. The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States established in 90 seconds the maximum time in which an evacuation must be carried outThis is because it is the time calculated for the cabin atmosphere to become unbreathable in the event of a fire.

Dimming the light also helps reduce distractions among passengers and that they pay more attention to safety instructions, Avoid reflections in the windows which can be confusing in an emergency situation and predisposes the passengers to a state of heightened alert which can save you precious seconds in an emergency.