Select Committee on Science and Technology First Report


In 2000 the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee published its report Air Travel and Health. The Committee has now decided to undertake a short follow-up inquiry, to be chaired by Lord Broers, to review progress in implementing its recommendations. The Committee therefore invites evidence on the health effects of air travel, with particular emphasis on any relevant new evidence that has emerged since 2000, and on the extent to which Government, regulators and the airline industry have kept pace with such evidence.

In particular, the Committee invites evidence on the following questions:

  • What progress has been made in research into the priority areas identified by the Committee in 2000? Do gaps remain in the evidence base, and, if so, are they being filled?
  • Have any new health concerns emerged since 2000, and what is being done to address them? For example:

-  Are steps being taken to address concerns over the role of air travel in the spread of diseases such as SARS or pandemic influenza?

  • Has new evidence invalidated any of the recommendations made by the Committee in 2000?
  • How effective has the inter-departmental Aviation Health Working Group been in taking forward the Committee's recommendations? How are the arrangements for governance and regulation of the industry working?
  • How successful have the Government been in raising international awareness of passenger and crew health, and in improving international collaboration?
  • What progress has the airline industry itself made since 2000? For example:

-  To what extent has the aircraft cabin environment improved?

-  Are aircraft better equipped, and aircrew better trained, to respond to in-flight medical emergencies?

  • To what extent has the information supplied to travellers been improved and integrated since 2000?

As in the original inquiry, the Committee will not be considering general air safety and the impact of air travel on the wider environment.

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