Drive for clean cabin air launched

Despite more than 50 recommendations and findings about contaminated air exposure on passenger jet aircraft since the turn of the century, commercial aircraft continue to fly with no contaminated air warning system.

In response to this lack of action, the Global Cabin Air Quality Executive (GCAQE) has now established a ‘Clean Air Campaign’ which aims to make contaminated air warning sensors and systems, as well as ‘bleed air’ filters, mandatory on commercial aircraft across the globe.

The campaign is backed by more than one million aviation sector employees and a number of significant organisations, including the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the European Cabin Crew Association (EurECCA), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

The issue being addressed is related to the supply of breathable air on the vast majority of passenger hets. The air supply comes unfiltered from a small engine at the rear of the aircraft. This air has been proven to include contaminants including jet engine oils and hydraulic fluids, which passengers and crew are then exposed to.

According to GCAQE, worldwide aviation regulatory bodies have been aware of this situation for many decades but have consistently failed to regulate the introduction of meaningful contaminated air warning sensors and filtration equipment. This is despite numerous examples of flight safety issues resulting from aircraft crew being negatively impacted and in some cases incapacitated by contaminated air. Long-term, negative health effects have also been documented.

GCAQE will host a major conference on these issues in March this year: ‘2021 Aircraft Cabin Air Conference’ (aircraftcabinair.com). Companies will be displaying a range of technological solutions to this problem during the conference, including innovative total cabin air filtration systems, catalytic converters and warning sensors.

As well as the ‘Clean Air Campaign’ and the ‘2021 Aircraft Cabin Air Conference’, the GCAQE is behind the world’s first global reporting system for contaminated air events. Known as GCARS, you can find out more about it here.

A short educational film has also been released: https://www.gcaqe.org/cleanair

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