Identification and Comprehension of Symbolic Exit Signs for Small Transport-Category Airplanes

Global growth in travel has resulted in the need to standardize safety information and guidance systems for communication of significant information to the widest audience possible. Through uniform design and common visual components, persons in all countries can better recognize and follow directional information for safe passage, particularly in emergency situations. In order to communicate guidance information efficiently across language barriers, graphical signs and symbolic markings have come to incorporate a range of fairly standard visual components, such as exit signs that include arrows and the international running man symbol. A symbolic emergency exit sign has been approved for placement on a single, large transport-category airplane type in place of the signs currently required by 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 25.811 and 25.812. Use of a similar symbolic exit sign has been proposed for deployment on a small transport airplane. This sign would be smaller and use variations of the approved symbols. This study evaluated the smaller symbolic exit sign, comparing it with the approved sign in combination with variations of individual sign elements. Overall, there was little difference in the identification of either the approved or proposed running man element, although participants were better able to identify the type of arrow element currently approved for the larger transport airplanes. The main recommendations from this study are that future symbolic exit signs on transport-category airplanes be standardized and spaced within the cabin to provide the visual size needed for proper identification and comprehension.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, P.O. Box 25082
    Oklahoma City, OK  United States  73125

    Federal Aviation Administration

    Office of Aerospace Medicine, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Authors:
    • Weed, David B
    • Paskoff, Lawrence N
    • Ruppel, David J
    • Corbett, Cynthia L
    • McLean, Garnet A
  • Publication Date: 2014-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 38p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01522296
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FAA/AM-14/3
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 17 2014 1:45PM