What does a “layered approach” mean exactly? It implies that there is not only one thing you need to do to prevent yourself from virus exposure on your journey. Preparation for a journey depends on a series of measures, some of which you can exercise yourself, while others may depend on the actors along your journey to make them available to you. Airbus believes that all these actors – from airlines, pilots and crew, to members of the airport community, authorities and ourselves, the passengers – have a role to play to collaborate with travelers and adopt the most effective routines. These routines range from mask wearing and hand washing, to ensuring disinfected public spaces, to clean air onboard an aircraft.
Collectively all aviation partners are working along the same objectives to have a better understanding about the virus and how to keep everyone – passengers, crew and staff – safe and healthy. An important safety layer is provided by the aircraft manufacturers – such as Airbus. For instance, the perception of transmission risk while sitting in an aircraft is a common, but unfounded assumption that can be debunked by recent scientific studies released on the matter.
Aircraft engineers across aviation have carried out a multitude of highly accurate cabin simulations. Independent researchers from Harvard then proceeded to “stress test” these assumptions and found them to be accurate. Researchers from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the U.S. confirm that infection control measures put in place by airlines reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on an aircraft to very low levels.
The gate-to gate report concluded that use of masks by passengers and crews, in combination with diligent airline cleaning protocols and advanced ventilation and filtration systems on aircraft, offer “…significant protection against COVID-19 during air travel.” The study further ascertains that, with regards to the cabin air filtration system, “this level of ventilation effectively counters the proximity travelers will be subject to during flights.”
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