New health safety measures in aircraft


The European Commission published the amended Horizon Europe Work Programme 2023-24 on 31 March 2023. The overall driver of Cluster 5 – “Climate, Energy and Mobility” is to accelerate the green and digital transition, and the associated transformation of the economy, industry and society to achieve climate neutrality in Europe by 2050. 

This cluster contains seven research actions, which have been delegated to EASA as contracting authority. This project addresses the following action: New health safety measures in aircraft.

Outcome and output

The outcome below describes the expected and targeted benefit and impact the project will generate after successfully completion. The output below describes the intended project results needed to achieve the expected/targeted outcome. 

Expected outcome

The objectives of the project are to investigate the possibilities to further reduce the spread of a series of airborne infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi) within the aircraft environment by improving filtration systems, recirculation systems and cabin airflow, including individual air supply nozzles, to ensure that passengers are not adversely affected during the flight.

This research project is expected to analyse scientifically proven solutions to reduce the spread of airborne infectious agents within the aircraft environment. In addition, risks associated with various disinfection and cleaning methods implemented by operators is a growing concern to aircraft manufacturers and many other parameters remain unquantified and will need an in-depth assessment, not only for initial airworthiness aspects but also for continued airworthiness and maintenance.

The expected outcome of the project is to provide scientific evidence to support regulatory decision making, as well as an implementation roadmap for the Agency and Industry. The project shall take into consideration retrofit solutions, as well as solutions applicable to new aircraft cabin design.

Required output

To adequately recommend regulatory changes, the project will assess the effectiveness of several solutions to prevent the spread of respiratory virus within the aircraft cabin, and investigate the potential constraints for their permanent use and potential negative impact on materials and/or crew, with focus on:

  • Filtration of 70 -150 nm nanoparticles in aircraft 
  • Review of effective chemical and non-chemical disinfection methods that are safe to use in an aviation environment on short and long term
  • Safe use of microbial repellent materials in cabin design, namely identification and testing of new anti-microbial materials that could be used in new aircraft design

Assessing the potential of spread of microorganisms from a contaminated passenger onboard via inanimate surfaces

Call for tender

Check the call for tender for this Research Project

Contract duration: 24 months

Important notice
The call for tender will be issued ahead of the conclusion of the Contribution Agreement between the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and EASA. The conclusion of the aforementioned Contribution Agreement is a prerequisite for the award of any contract resulting from this tender procedure.