Recent progress on studies of airborne infectious disease transmission, air quality, and thermal comfort in the airliner cabin air environment

Feng Wang, Ruoyu You, Tengfei Zhang, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Airborne transmission of infectious diseases through air travel has become a major concern, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The flying public and crew members have long demanded better air quality and thermal comfort in commercial airliner cabins. This paper reviewed studies related to the airliner cabin air environment that have been published in scientific journals since 2000, to understand the state-of-the-art in cabin air environment design and the efforts made to improve this environment. In this critical review, this paper discusses the challenges and opportunities in studying the cabin air environment. The literature review concluded that current environmental control systems for airliner cabins have done little to stop the airborne transmission of infectious diseases. There were no reports of significant air quality problems in cabins, although passengers and crew members have complained of some health-related issues. The air temperature in cabins needs to be better controlled, and therefore, better thermal comfort models for airliners should be developed. Low humidity is a major complaint from passengers and crew members. Gaspers are used by passengers to adjust thermal comfort, but they do not improve air quality. Various personalized and displacement ventilation systems have been developed to improve air quality and thermal comfort. Air cleaning technologies need to be further developed. Good tools are available for designing a better cabin air environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13032
JournalIndoor Air
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • air quality
  • airflow
  • airplanes
  • cabin
  • infectious disease
  • thermal comfort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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