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European Parliament: question on recycled air in airplanes

By Pietro Fiocchi, Maria Grapini, Evžen Tošenovský, Marian-Jean Marinescu

"Parliamentary questions   

11 March 2020    

P-001521/2020

Priority question for written answer to the Commission

Rule 138

Pietro Fiocchi, Maria Grapini, Evžen Tošenovský, Marian-Jean Marinescu 

Subject: Recycled air in airplanes

The recent spread of COVID-19 and the strategies that have been adopted to contain the virus have brought up the issue of recycled air in aeroplanes.
In theory, the turbine engine draws air from the outside at an altitude of 10,000 metres and feeds it directly into the cockpit and the cabin. The idea is that the air is of the purest and highest quality.

We know that in order to cut ventilation costs, airlines use a mixture of half fresh air from the outside and half recycled air from inside the cabin that people have already breathed.

Air is to be considered polluted when the carbon dioxide in it exceeds the 1,000 parts per million (ppm) limit and some consumer associations have cited studies with data that provides some cause for concern.

1 Can the Commission confirm whether the procedures currently adopted in order to fully recycle air on aeroplanes are adequate to contain the risk of COVID-19?

2 Does it think that it is worth making sure that, in times of emergencies, airlines operating in the EU feed fresh air into aeroplane cabins so as to ensure an uncontaminated supply?

Last updated: 17 March 2020". 

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