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Whatever the size of your project, we can help…


SWS have extensive experience in designing, qualifying, testing and certifying new seats and seat systems. We also have a significant involvement with obtaining approvals for clients who are modifying and upgrading existing seats with new IFE/cushions/seat actuators & lighting/control systems etc or new installation configurations.

Air New Zealand’s Skycouch

SWS provide certification advisory support

The Skycouch is a series of triple economy seats fitted with a legrest, which deploys to the full horizontal position to create a lie-flat space all the way to the seatback in front. It’s specifically aimed at singles and couples in search of a bed or some extra room, and parents travelling with children.

The Challenge?

Air New Zealand Skycouch

Initially, Skycouch did not appear to present any of the challenges that were to follow. However Skycouch was being marketed as a purpose-designed, triple seat, multi-occupancy three-seat berth and recreational area. It was the first time an airline had done so, certainly in economy, and that was the challenge. How would SWS approach and evaluate Skycouch to prove it was airworthy and offered the occupants a safe flight environment.


The main issue was occupant safety and the potential for injury during inflight turbulence. If individuals – adults or children – are lying down side by side, the challenge was to establish the interrelationship between Skycouch occupants and the surrounding environment, including the seat in front, the effectiveness of new occupant restraints and a risk of head, chest and general occupant injuries for adults, children and infants of various sizes.

The Outcome...

Air New Zealand Skycouch

An ANZ/SWS collaboration was able to overcome the certification challenges to secure an STC for the Skycouch. Since 2011, Skycouch has been approved through both New Zealand CAA and EASA for additional Air New Zealand aircraft and other airlines.

Award Winning...

The airline’s efforts have been rewarded – the Skycouch won the Crystal Cabin Award for Passenger Comfort, and ‘best furniture design’ from Design Week magazine.



"SWS have excelled in developing an innovative approach to achieving approval of the ‘Skycouch’ a new Economy seat proposition for Air New Zealand"

- Kerry Reeves: Programme Director, Air New Zealand








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SWS Certification Services Ltd.
ECM2 ER Building,
Heol Cefn Gwrgan,
Margam, Port Talbot,
Wales SA13 2BZ
United Kingdom
Tel +44 (0) 1639 899 658
Company Number: 5132691