Harvard study confirms that flights are as or safer than other activities

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Harvard study confirms that flights are as or safer than other activities
Thu November 26, 2020

Studies conducted by academics also concluded that the use of masks in combination with strict protocols offers significant protection

Researchers from the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University in the United States confirmed that risk mitigation strategies that have been implemented by airlines and airports effectively reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in an aircraft to very low levels, ensuring that air travel today is as safe or even safer than other routine activities (eg going to a supermarket). 

Studies conducted by academics, which covered a passenger's journey "from the gate to their destination," also concluded that the use of masks by passengers and crews, in combination with strict cleaning protocols airlines and advanced aircraft ventilation and filtration systems (HEPA Filters) offer "significant protection against COVID-19 during air travel." 

These investigations are part of the tireless collaboration carried out by the main players in this industry - manufacturers, airlines, airports and related companies - to find the formula that ensures a trip without risks of any kind and that avoids the transmission of any disease within the cabin, in the context of the worst crisis that the global aviation industry has experienced due to the pandemic and which forced the different companies that develop it to reduce their activities to practically a minimum for months.

Thus, it is concluded that the most effective strategy is not to incorporate a single solution, but rather the combination and application of several contagion protection measures, at the same time that the results of the simulation studies on the air flow in the room were corroborated. cabin carried out by Airbus, as well as those presented by other manufacturers, by the Department of Defense of the United States (TRANSCOM) and by the scientific community in general, determining that "this level of ventilation in the cabin effectively counteracts the proximity to the that travelers are subject to during flights. " That is, there would be no need to leave a free seat between passengers, which comes to disprove a common but unfounded assumption.

For organizations such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), these conclusions reiterate what they had already announced, in that "the data tells us that the risk of transmission of the virus on board is low compared to other indoor public environments." While for the director of the Keep Trust In Air Travel project at Airbus, Bruno Fargeon, the conviction is reaffirmed that, “today, for a trip to be totally safe it is necessary that all the actors involved in the process become aware preventive measures or steps; be it the airline, pilots and the crew, to the members of the airport community and the passengers themselves, measures that range from the use of masks and hand washing,

How has air transport adapted to COVID-19?

Protective barriers against virus transmission on airplanes include:

● Ventilation systems on board aircraft that circulate continuously and cool the air supply (HEPA Filters).

● Universal use of face masks by passengers, crew and airport workers. 

● Distancing protocols during boarding and disembarking.

● High-touch aircraft surface disinfection to remove contamination.


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