Covid19, which started at the end of 2019 and influenced the world in 2020, affected the whole world and life of all people radically. Many sectors have been shaken deeply, and trade volumes have suffered serious declines.
As a result of measures taken to slow down or stop the spread of the Covid19 pandemic. Human mobility has come to a standstill naturally. This situation brought the Aviation sector to a halt. Countries closed their borders, the international/domestic flights were stopped or reduced to minimum levels. Only Repatriation flights were allowed in some countries.
The fight with the pandemic has gradually released the start of flights after the countries have progressed and certain control has been achieved. Nowadays, domestic and international flights are made by taking the necessary precautions in many countries, but the air traffic level is still below the normal level compared to previous years.
While this is the case, naturally many questions come to mind of passengers. Is ventilation in airplanes safe? Is the air of the airplanes clean enough? Many travelers have these questions in mind.
Let’s look at some numbers and announcements.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HEPA filters capture 99.99% of particles (bacteria, fungi, and larger viruses or virus clumps) from 0.1–0.3 micrometers in diameter. On that point we must pinpoint that according to the studies of Covid19 the viral particles have an average size of 1 micrometers and ranges between 0.06 to 1.4 micrometers.
- The air in the cabin is a mix of fresh air (around 60 – 70%) and recirculated air. The air is completely renewed every two to three minutes, or 20 – 30 times every hour.
- Airbus tweets from the company’s official account that “Cabin air renewed every 2 to 3 minutes. HEPA filters and top to bottom air circulation ensure aircraft cabins are a safe environment.”
- IATA (International Air Transport Association) says that “The risk of catching an infection on an aircraft is typically lower than in a shopping center or office environment”.
- ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) indicated that “the current likelihood of contracting the virus while on flights is extremely low”.
On the other hand, Gary Peterson (International Vice President of the Air Division for the Transport Workers Union) replies the question “If someone sneezes eight rows away, should you be worried?” as “Yes,”. “The particles have to get into the system to be filtered. There’s no doubt the systems today are far superior than in the past. But the first step to cabin safety is stopping the person who is coronavirus infected from getting onboard.”
WHO (World Health Organization) makes note on that matter. “Transmission of infection may occur between passengers who are seated in the same area of an aircraft, usually as a result of the infected individual coughing or sneezing or by touch”.
Finally, for sure we pass through hard days and every individual must pay high attention to all possible measurements. It is clear that by the help of HEPA filters and the filtration system the air quality in an airplane is very high. On the other hand, we can easily deduce from the numbers that the risk of getting Covid19 during a flight is not zero in numbers.
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Be safe and farewell…