Airline Cabin Germ Transmission Prompts New Controls
Passengers Actually Fainting On Some Trips
Did you know recycled air is being used on some long-haul flights to save fuel costs?
The emergence of the bird flu virus in Hong Kong has fuelled worries that germs could rapidly spread to Britain on passenger aircraft. Poor air conditions on flights have contributed to the fears.
Airline passengers are reporting increases in fainting fits on airlines due to the lack of carbon dioxide and coldsare spread more easily through people coughing and spluttering into the confined atmosphere.
The European Joint Aviation Authority is now planning to introduce strict new controls on air conditioning in cabins amid fears that passengers are being exposed to dangerous germs.
These will add to the existing measures, which require airlines to provide a fresh supply of air six times every hour.
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said: "Controls are already tight. Airlines are required by law to provide no less than 50% fresh air at any one time.
"Cabin air is also changed up to seven times an hour and aircraft cabins are safer than any other form of transport," he added.
However, a British Airways pilot claimed that recycled air was being used on long-haul flights in an effort to save fuel costs, resulting in "the wholesale transmission of germs."
"Flu viruses, to which we have little or no resistance, are out of China into Hong Kong one day and in Britain the next," he said.
The pilot, who has not been named, claimed that recycled air is sometimes being breathed in by more than 300 people for up to 15 hours on long haul flights to cut down on costs.
He added: "The problem is that air packs need a lot of fuel to run. There is enormous pressure on pilots to run the minimum of air conditioning."

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