Aviation

The airline must implement new cabin air standards

After more than seven years of work on this issue, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has published technical reportt including recommendations on how to prevent smoke exposure through improvements in aircraft design, maintenance and operation.

These measures are key to minimizing the impact of “smoke bursts” when the ventilation air supply on commercial aircraft becomes contaminated with significant amounts of heated engine oil and hydraulic fluid vapors.

Recommendations of Art Air quality in the cabin of civil aircraft – Chemical compounds call for technical report:

  • Installation and operation of appropriate filtration to remove smoke from ventilation supply air depending on available technology. Filters prevent or reduce exposure to fumes on board and reduce the need for flight cancellations/diversions and maintenance.
  • Installation and operation of chemical sensors to inform technicians and pilots of the type and location of contamination in air supply systems depending on available technology. The sensors will reduce on-board exposure to fumes and facilitate prompt and efficient maintenance response.
  • Implementing “best practices” in aircraft maintenance, such as training maintenance personnel to prevent inadvertent over-maintenance of engines with oil and hydraulic fluid.
  • Establishing an incident reporting system for airlines to more effectively track reported health and safety impacts, monitor maintenance schedules and assess trends over time;
  • Implementation of simple education and training programs to enable airline workers to recognize, respond and respond to smoke on board.

Following the publication of the report, the European Trade Union Confederation, the European Transport Workers’ Federation, the Global Cabin Air Quality Executive and the European Cabin Crew Association are calling for the immediate implementation of the first European guidelines on air quality in the cabin of civil aircraft.

Although accident investigation units across the EU have repeatedly recognized the impact of smoke events on flight safety, the EU Aviation Safety Agency has not issued regulations on cabin air quality. That, unions say, makes the work of the CEN committee – where unions have a voice, along with passenger groups, manufacturers and airlines – all the more important.

ETUC secretary Isabel Schoeman said: “Crew workers and passengers expect airlines to adhere to the highest safety standards, but we know that is currently not the case when it comes to chemical fumes. Unions, passenger groups and industry have come up with smart solutions to protect the health of crew and passengers. Airlines are now responsible for complying with these recommendations as part of their duty of care to their crew and passengers.”

Eoin Coates, head of aviation at the European Transport Federation, added: “Oil fumes contaminate the air supply during daily routine commercial flights. Vapors can seriously injure crew members, compromising flight safety. This report finally provides EASA, manufacturers, maintenance companies and airlines with a roadmap for development and maintenance measures to protect airline employees and passengers from inhaling toxic oil fumes on board.”

Global Cabin Air Quality chief executive Captain Tristan Lorraine said: “This is an important step forward and a really positive initiative for the entire industry to improve flight safety and protect crew and public health.” President of the European Cabin Crew Association, Annette Groeneveld, added: “Smoke incidents put the health and safety of everyone on board an aircraft at risk. We now need swift, comprehensive and thorough implementation of the proposed measures to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our crews and passengers.”

https://www.aviationbusinessnews.com/mro/airline-industry-must-implement-new-cabin-air-standards/ The airline must implement new cabin air standards

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