How the air in an aircraft cabin is cleaned that prevents viral contamination

Many still has the impression that the air inside an aircraft cabin is dirty and contaminated. Well honestly, the air inside an aircraft cabin is as filtered as the air you breathe inside hospitals.

Little did people know that the air inside the cabin is renewed every 3 minutes and that the modern aircraft like those from Airbus are equipped with HEPA or High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor filters which can catch 99.99% of viruses including the coronavirus.

In fact, the Airbus A320's onboard filters provide clean air which is at par with hospital operating theaters, as mentioned by Captain Roa, an airline pilot.

The quality of air in an aircraft cabin is even cleaner than the air quality of a mall. Airbus mentions that the air inside its cabins is changed every 3 minutes on the average. This flow of air has a much higher rate than indoor environments. This means that passengers in an aircraft cabin are provided up to 80 times as much air as they need to breathe.

The air passengers breathe, according to Airbus, is a mix of fresh air taken from the outside that enters through the aircraft's engines and is compressed to safe density which makes the oxygen safe to breathe, and air that has passed through extremely efficient filters which particles in the air. It can filter out particles down to the size of microscopic bacteria and virus clusters with a 99,99% efficiency and even better.

The air that is supplied to the aircraft toilets, cargo holds, and galleys is rather dumped directly overboard instead of being recirculated.

Airbus says that the air entering the cabin comes in from the vents you see above your seats, located at the overhead stowage bins, both from above or underneath them depending on the aircraft type. It is then extracted at floor level, resulting to air being drawn down rather than going up. There is no flow going forward or rearward.

Airbus also shares that it is unlikely that the air recirculated can spread the Coronavirus. The airflow induced by the recirculation is system is mixed with fresh air taken from the outside and enters through the air outlets or vents. The air then flow downwards passing over the passengers going towards the floor level where it is extracted. This air then goes either overboard via pressurization outflow valves, or will pass through the HEPA filters for injection back to the mixer.

This is the reason why the air in the cabin is clean, contrary to what mainstream media has reported, as this air circulation and filtration system aboard an aircraft does not spread the Coronavirus throughout the cabin. Again, the HEPA filters have a highter than 99.99% efficiency in capturing the Coronavirus.

Below is a video from Airbus clearly explaining how the air cleaned, filtered, and renewed.

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