On the airbus A320 Evacuation Control Panel, what is CAPT & PURS. On some takeoffs it is selected and on other takeoffs it is not selected. What does this stand for and what is it? What does it do?

Here is a graphical representation: enter image description here


1 Answer 1


It is a two position tumbler switch on the overhead panel to allow/disable the activation of the Evacuation alert from the cabin (explained here page 13). The view can also be found here for A320 and also here, with the following comments:

  • CAPT and PURS - the alert may be activated from either cockpit or cabin.
  • CAPT - the alert may be activated from cockpit only.

The A320 pictures seem containing the safety wire to keep the switch in the CAPT and PURS position, so it most likely another position is only selected for the reason.

The manual says Allows activation of an Evacuation alert from the cockpit or cabin but from explanation above and the notation on the panel looks like the alert activation from the cocpit cannot be disabled by this switch.

This electric component is also called "toggle switch" and may be called "flush switch". These components were patented as early as in 1917.

  • $\begingroup$ I assume the abbreviations stand for "captain" and "purser?" $\endgroup$ Apr 21, 2017 at 19:15
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    $\begingroup$ I thought you used "tumbler" by mistake, but I see that it is a valid use of the word. Maybe a Commonwealth English term? Is it a term that Airbus uses? I am used to using "toggle switch" instead. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Apr 21, 2017 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ The discussion of the history and nomenclature of toggle switches doesn't seem to be germane to the question $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2017 at 22:14

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