Memorandum by the Building Research Establishment
BRE is a leading independent research and consultancy
organisation and, amongst other activities, carries out a wide
range of projects for the European Commission, national Government,
and aerospace firms in the area of aircraft cabin environments.
BRE is committed to improving the quality of the cabin environment
for the benefit of all stakeholders. BRE is owned by BRE Trust,
a registered Charity, whose objectives are through research and
education, to advance knowledge, innovation and communication
in all matters concerning the environment for public benefit.
The Trust ensures that BRE remains independent of commercial interests,
and safeguards BRE's national and international reputation for
objectivity and impartiality in research and consultancy.
BRE submitted evidence on ventilation provision
in aircraft to the original inquiry in 2000 by the Committee on
Air Travel and Health. Since that time, BRE has been considerably
active in the field of air quality monitoring on board commercial
revenue earning flights including those carried out under CabinAir
(a European Commission Fifth Framework project),
and the Phase 3 study for the Department of Transport.
On this occasion we would like to comment on the original recommendations
relating to air qualityspecifically those relating to 1.26,
1.27, and 1.30
Recommendation 1.26 calls on airlines to carry
out cabin air sampling programmes from time to time, and to make
provisions for spot-sample collection in the case of unusual circumstances.
It is our view that:
The issue of cabin air quality
remains as pertinent now as it was then;
Equipment for carrying out general
air quality monitoring on board revenue-earning flights has been
developed. However, lack of demand from airlines has meant that
off-the-shelf equipment is not generally available;
Collecting spot-samples during
"unusual" circumstances has proved to be difficult.
However, BRE is well advanced on this aspect. It is our understanding
that the Department for Transport will be addressing this as a
result of the Committee of Toxicity's considerations on "cabin
air environment, ill-health in aircraft crews and the possible
relationship to smoke/fume events in aircraft".
Recommendation 1.27 welcomed the ASHRAE work
on cabin air quality standard. The Committee may wish to note
The US ASHRAE Standard is not
yet published and is awaiting approval from the ASHRAE Board of
The European preStandard prEn
4618 "Aircraft internal air quality standards, criteria and
determination methods" was published in September 2004. This
was a direct outcome of the BRE co-ordinated European CabinAir
project (mentioned earlier) and the preStandard was prepared by
AECMA-STAN (now ASD-STAN)a CEN Associated Body which produces
standards for aviation. This standard is the first of its kind
for indoor air quality and thermal comfort in commercial passenger
Recommendation 1.30 asks airlines to review
and modify their cabin design considerations to include air nozzles
under personal control in newer aircraft. We note that:
In general, newer aircraft do
not appear to have these air nozzles;
Our view is that air nozzles
do provide a perception of "fresh" air to occupants,
and that this recommendation is still as valid now as it was then.
20 June 2007
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