Should we install new seats capable of containing COVID-19 on aircrafts? Maybe, but we won’t feel safe on claustrophobic seats that could turn into a trap in emergency conditions.
The key point, in our view, is to give people a sense that their safety is, for those who work in aviation, the top priority.
We want to make a contribution by sharing our considerations. It is known that the psychological factor has a great impact on passengers and we believe that knowledge helps to overcome fears, so the first action to be taken is to inform passengers about the existing precautions to counter the spread of COVID-19, transferring them simple information, for example:
- on all aircraft designed after 1985 the air mixing system includes the use of HEPA(1) , which can also filter viruses with an efficiency of 99.99%
- cabin air is completely recycled on average every 3 minutes.
- the flow of air input and intake is designed in order to avoid horizontal flows in the cabin, thus limiting the drop-let, the first cause of viruses or pathogens spread among passengers
- cabin touch-points are disinfected with effective products (2) so that viruses are removed from all surfaces before each flight
- there is an obligation to ensure compliance with social distancing to avoid common areas of contact (in Italy it is already so) (3)
- the crew complies with scrupulous procedures in order to identify passengers who have symptoms during the flight (4)
- use of masks and gloves by all staff in order to prevent the spread of the virus at airports and on board aircraft
The technical proposals of JHAS SPA are not decisive to the distance or virus containment but they aim to increase the comfort – both physical and mental – of the passenger, a primary goal in order to meet the customer’s requirements while always remaining mindful of the maximum comfort of the passenger.
For example, there is a debate about leaving the central seat of a triple seat free to leave the distance between the two passengers on the window and aisle side.
JHAS SPA has designed a new layout of seats installation in the cabin in order to comply with the minimum imposed distance, a change that can be easily certified and has a limited impact in terms of costs by the airlines. This configuration, obtained thanks to an asymmetric installation with offset of 40 cm (16″), makes it possible to maintain the one meter distance among all passengers, ensuring a load factor of 65%.
Airlines, by granting the passenger a plus to compensate for the psychological distress of the potential contagion from the Covid-19, could insert a partition panel on the central seat, which would allow greater privacy and comfort in terms of space and support surfaces to be allocated to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Moreover, the partition panels would be easily certified, installed and removed.
Our customers have expressed their support and have encouraged us to pursue this path.
At the end, JHAS SPA wants to support to relaunch our sector as soon as possible through a passenger information campaign that allows passengers to overcome their fears.
This is our simple contribution as actors of a wonderful aeronautical world that will return to fly!
(1) High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter
(2) Tested by, for example, European Agency ECDC -TECHNICAL REPORT dated February 18,2020-
(3) Guidelines annexed to DPCM 26 April 2020.
(4) Cabin_safety@iata.org www.iata.org/en/programs/safety/cabin-safety