Consumer Campaigner again calls on EU National Consumer Organisations to support EU Cabin Air Quality Standard

The pressure on Consumer representation is becoming clearer!

National Consumer Organisations should engage on Cabin Air Quality, to give voice Consumer interests

The battle of words throughout the Cabin Air Quality debate, continues with Industry and other interests, seeking to dominate the future direction of the draft Standard, which defines the measures necessary to improve the quality of air breathed on aircraft.

Competing words seek to persuade National Standards Bodies & Consumer Organisations to reject the current draft moving forward, on the basis that the document is flawed, provides no means to demonstrate compliance, that it fails to address measurements of potential chemical compounds in the aircraft environment, and that it should wait for the outcome of the EASA/FACTS study, which they hope will provide insight into what is contained within the air that we breathe onboard.

Frank Brehany considers that the intense lobbying by this wide interest group, presents its own flaws, partly because many of the voices being heard from across the spectrum, have not been present in the room along with a wide stakeholder group, when key discussions and decisions were made about the content of the document. Frank is of the opinion that this lack of engagement reveals further, the desire to rely on a flawed regulatory system that has produced a disparate set of guidance on Cabin Air Quality. As for measurements of chemical compounds, he again believes that their arguments are flawed because the debate has moved on from the weak ground-based threshold levels that some appear to rely on, to ‘guarantee’ the quality of the air that we breathe.

One important argument that is made by this lobby is that the technology is not available; that it will be years before it can satisfy the requirements of the Standard. Frank however observes that the work on the draft Standard has already brought about a substantial sea-change of thinking, innovation and action, by the Regulator (EASA), Industry and Politicians, with millions of € invested through private and public initiatives in response to concerns. Those responses are however in Frank’s opinion, inadequate to address the wider issues and concerns. To demonstrate typical innovation in technology and regulation, in the United States, a Bill before Congress is designed to create measures to force the improvement and awareness of Cabin Air Quality, along with a requirement to install Carbon Monoxide sensors. A US company, Teledyne, has received FAA approval for a sensor to detect Chemical Compounds, for the Boeing 737 aircraft type.

Frank recently wrote to 55 European Consumer Organisations, calling on them to support the EU draft Standard. In response to other correspondence received by those organisations, Frank has again written to the same European Consumer Organisations, offering an alternative perspective, calling for their support for the draft Standard and for them to formally engage with their respective National Standards Bodies.

Frank Brehany states:

“There are critical days and months ahead for the work on this draft Standard. The process is already under considerable pressure and must accede to the 2021 reality on Cabin Air Quality, along with the reasonable expectations of EU Citizens and their valid health and safety concerns. European Consumer Organisations must ensure that they become rapidly aware of the extent of this wide lobby and its actions, the need to recognise the uniqueness of the aircraft environment, risk management and the urgent need for this draft Standard to be supported. For far too long, the wider needs of Consumers in this debate have been ignored by the wider community; this is the moment to correct that deficit against a determined lobby, whose only object appears to be to delay or frustrate progress - that is not in Consumer interests”.

Media Notes:

  1. Frank has been working as a Consumer Campaigner and Advocate on Cabin Air Quality issues since 2006, presenting the Consumer story and working to deliver solutions to the problem of Cabin Air Quality;
  2. The issue with Cabin Air Quality can be attributed to a number of sources. But, the principle source of concerns on contaminated air centres in on the bleed-air supply, which extracts the air we breathe onboard from the aircraft engines and passed through into the aircraft's environmental control system;
  3. The work on the European Standard has been achieved through the facilities of the European Standards-Making Body, CEN;
  4. Frank has extensive media experience and is available for comment in all formats. Frank can be contacted directly through this link