ECA calls for immediate action on cabin air contamination

Amsterdam
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The European Cockpit Association has gone public with its recommendations on how to handle the cabin air contamination issue, saying that action is needed now because of the immediate risk to flights when a fume incident occurs.

It is calling for more research into the long-term health risks associated with the problem.

The ECA today released a statement saying: "The German Parliament had a hearing about the issue and decided it was up to Europe [the European Aviation Safety Agency] to take action, whilst EASA has just published its decision that it is not going to act. Although experts disagree on possible long-term health effects from cabin air contamination, one thing is clear: when a fume event occurs, cabin air contamination can cause short-term health effects which compromise flight safety.

"Whilst research and new technologies may offer solutions in the future, we should act today by reinforcing training and procedures."

The fumes, the ECA explains, come from heated engine oil additives that get into the cabin air when engine oil seals leak. The ECA says it wants these events to be recognised as a reality by demanding that checklists for crew actions when fumes get into the cabin air should be reviewed for effectiveness.

It also wants crews to be specifically trained in the drills to be carried out when fume events occur, rather than relying on crew memory of the procedures in the flight crew operations manual.