Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - ICE (Ideal cabin environment)

The 'Ideal cabin environment' (ICE) project addressed the widespread concerns about the impact of flying on the health and well-being of passengers. Changing passenger demographics, the advent of ultra-long-haul services, and specific health issues such as Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), had all combined to increase concerns. The key objectives of ICE were to determine health-based optimum levels of cabin environmental parameters and their synergistic effects on, amongst others, hypoxia (often considered the most serious single physical hazard) and possible links with DVT.

The tests simulated a long-haul flight experience with realistic cabin conditions. In addition to information from questionnaires completed by the volunteers, medical data were gathered on some 'flights'; these included 'passenger' blood pressures and blood samples for testing for increased susceptibility to infections and deep vein thrombosis. Information from 35 simulated flights was complemented with questionnaire-based data gathered by the team on real flights. A key feature of the project has been the selection of volunteers to represent, as far as possible, the full spectrum of commercial aircraft passengers in terms of gender and age. The sample also included risk-group volunteers with either cardiovascular or respiratory symptoms. The data were used to develop guidance for relevant stakeholders which will help them to address concerns about the impacts of cabin environment on passenger health. The ICE Consortium has worked hand in hand with ASD-STAN to use the new data and findings obtained during the ICE project to develop a European pre-Standard relating to commercial aircraft cabin environments.

Some of the key findings presented were:
- There was no consistent relationship between measured passenger physiological symptoms and cabin air pressure altitude (up to 8000 ft) - hence provide environment not more than 8000 ft;
- Cabin air temperature to be between 21 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius (optimum 23 degrees Celsius) and relative humidity to be between 25 - 40% (if technical constraints permit) - and both can be varied independently to each other;
- Within a cabin ventilation rate of 15 to 20 cfm, the recirculation percentage can be varied between 0 to 50%.

Overall, the ICE project indicated that flying in current commercial aircraft environments poses, in general, no significant health risk for passengers.

Informations connexes

Reported by

United Kingdom