The Stuffy Skies

July 3, 2000
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
How safe is airplane cabin air?

ASHRAE has debated the question, and a seminar on “aircraft cabin air quality” was held at its summer meeting in Minneapolis in June.

Among the speakers was David Space, Boeing Company, Seattle, WA, who discussed the design considerations that drive aircraft ventilation rates. There are currently no standards for onboard aircraft ventilation, but the ASHRAE committee reportedly is looking into establishing a minimum rate.

In June, The Wall Street Journal addressed the topic, rating the air quality on 11 different flights from 11 different airlines, varying in duration from two to six hours. Measured were airflow, bacteria count, mold count, and respirable particulates/contaminants.

The expert findings of the WSJ study concluded that airflow was too low for an enclosed space for virtually every flight measured. The expert determined that on Northwest Airlines, TWA, and U.S. Airways flights, the airflow was deemed “too low to measure.”

On one Southwest flight from Phoenix to Oklahoma City, airflow was acceptable, but the bacteria count was high; the same situation was found for a United flight from St. Louis to Denver.

Only the U.S. Airways flight had a mold count that was so high that experts said it could cause problems for allergy sufferers. — Ed Bas

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 World Energy Engineering Congress

Scenes from the 2014 World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C.


NEWSMakers: Kari Arfstrom

Kari Arfstrom, executive director of the HVACR Workforce Development Foundation, talks about the upcoming HVACR & Mechanical Conference. Posted on Jan. 23.

More Podcasts


NEWS 01-26-15 cover

2015 January 26

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Regional Standards

With regional standards for a/c equipment going into effect in 2015, how do you think it will impact the industry?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con