Slide/rafts are a means of providing group flotation for cabin occupants in the event of an airplane ditching. They must meet the same rules for use at an alternate ditching exit as liferafts. One of these requirements, portability, applies in the event that the ditching exit at which the slide/raft is installed is unusable for any reason. Portability is the ability to transport and deploy the slide/raft at an alternate, usable exit.
Transport of slide/rafts from one door to another within an airplane cabin is difficult and potentially dangerous. The slide/raft is typically larger, heavier, more easily actuated, and inflates much more violently than the typical liferaft. Characteristics that make the slide/raft an effective device for evacuations on land and water under a variety of physical and environmental conditions make the removal and redeployment of the device under emergency ditching conditions a risky task. Therefore, utmost attention must be paid to providing safeguards as a part of designs for portability.