Air Travel and Health

Air Travel and Health

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This report is a follow-up to an earlier report published in 2000 (HLP 121-I, session 1999-2000, ISBN 9780104442005), on air travel and health. That report acted as a stimulus to further research into the health of air crew and passengers, and led to a broader examination of such issues. The report also led to the setting up of the Aviation Health Working Group in 2001, and later the Aviation Health Unit, in 2003, within the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which acts as a focal point for aviation health in the UK. In this report the Committee sets out the current situation, and still finds issues that remain of concern, particularly the risk to air travellers of venous thromboembolism (VTE). A WHO study is to examine VTE risk for individuals with existing risk factors, and the Committee urges the Government to continue to support this project. The Committee also believes that further investigation into the effects of fumes on pilots and others should be continued. The Committee has set out a number of recommendations, including: that jet lag should be studied as a confounding effect of DVT; that the Government should explore ways to increase the research capacity in aviation health; that the CAA should implement the recommendations of its own research into aircraft seating standards, and increase the minimum seat pitch to at least 28.2 inches; the Government should also review the level of air passenger duty levied on qpremium economyq seating; also that the Government and airlines advise passengers on the proven benefits of good hygiene in the reduction of disease transmission, and that as part of their contingency plans airlines that are flying from areas affected by a pandemic, should provide bacterial wipes to passengers; that the Government and the AHU work together with airlines and others in providing consistent air travel advice to passengers on the risks associated with self-medicating with the intention of preventing DVT.At this time, both Boeing and Airbus are evaluating strategies a€” and any associated benefit a€” to improve humidity levels. ... to engine bleed air for the cabin air supply and the potential benefits of a reduction in the maximum operating cabin altitude. ... There is no evidence to suggest that the JAA regulatory requirements for aircraft medical equipment and cabin crew ... and Education publication The Impact of Flying on Health: A Guide for Health Professionals published in May 2004.

Title:Air Travel and Health
Author:Great Britain: Parliament: House of Lords: Science and Technology Committee
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2007-12-12


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