European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Investigation of cabin ventilation strategies impact on aircraft cabin air quality and passengers’ comfort and wellbeing through subject study in realistic aircraft environment

Project description

Investigating cabin air quality effects on passengers

Outdoor air intake and pollutants in aircraft cabins affect the passengers. Thus, improving cabin air quality represents a significant challenge for the aircraft industry. The EU-funded ComAir project will investigate cabin air quality and comfort, as well as the well-being of passengers. The project will review published studies to identify pollutants in aircraft and reproduce the exposures to these pollutants at varied occupation densities in the cabin through simulated flights in a flight test facility low-pressure vessel. The project will apply realistic profiles of cabin pressure, noise and vibrations, temperature and relative humidity. ComAir will also monitor air quality with advanced low-cost sensors, simultaneously observing the passengers’ physiological reactions.


The impact of reducing outdoor air intake in the total volume of air supplied to an aircraft on cabin air quality, comfort and well-being of passengers will be investigated. Pollutants that have been measured in aircrafts and are likely to produce negative effects on passengers will be identified by reviewing published studies. The exposures to these pollutants will be reproduced during simulated flights in the Flight Test Facility low pressure vessel which is the mock-up of the actual airplane cabin. Realistic profiles of cabin pressure, noise and vibrations, temperature and relative humidity will be applied. Roundabout 600 subjects will be recruited representing cross-section of flight passengers. Different outdoor air supply rates will be simulated at varied occupation density in the cabin, one that is currently applied (baseline) and others that are lower. At lower outdoor air supply rates more air will be recirculated. During each flight simulation concentrations of air pollutants will be monitored and passengers will evaluate their comfort and well-being. Air quality will additionally be assessed by an impartial sensory panel who will briefly enter the cabin. Besides these measurements that are requested by the call, the air quality in the cabin will be monitored with the advanced low-cost air quality sensors, while the passengers physiological reactions are monitored. The results obtained in the simulated flights will be used to examine whether per person outdoor air intake can be reduced from the baseline without any negative effects on passengers, and if so by how much. They will also be used to propose pollutants that could potentially be monitored in the aircraft cabin for the purpose of controlling cabin air quality. Recommendations for the future revisions of standards pertaining to ventilation in aircraft cabins will be the major delivery.


Net EU contribution
€ 546 250,00
80539 Muenchen

See on map

Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 546 250,00

Participants (2)