FACTS – Toxicity of contaminated aircraft cabin air

Facts about cabin air quality on-board large transport aircraft

The quality of the air that passengers and aircrews are exposed to on board commercial transport aeroplanes has been at the core of a continuing debate over the last 60 years, both from the health and the safety points of view. Such a debate about cabin or cockpit air quality (CAQ) addresses most specifically two distinct issues:

(i) single cabin/cockpit air contamination (CAC) events- e.g. due to potential leaks - which result in short-term peaks of cockpit/cabin air contamination;

(ii) the intrinsic quality of the cockpit/cabin air in normal operating conditions. 

Main objective of the FACTS project (2017-2020), funded by the EU Commission and managed by EASA, is to characterise the composition and concentration of pollutants in the cabin following a contamination event (engine oil leakage) through the use a test bench incorporating a representative bleed air system and to assess the potential health impact (in-vitro/in-vivo tests) as well as potential mitigation means.

A dedicated website for the FACTS project is available: https://facts.aero/