The ITF had long warned of the health risks of cabin air extracted from engine compression and conveyed unfiltered to passengers and crew, and was concerned that engine bleed air could expose cabin crew to fumes from engine oils, hydraulic fluids and carbon monoxide. Acute and chronic symptoms had been identified and were becoming globally recognised.
The ITF and IFALPA (International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations) joint cabin air proposal to the ICAO general assembly in 2013 was widely supported and accepted, and the ITF continued to work in the ICAO cabin safety working group. This was boosted when the ITF created its own air quality working group in February 2015.
ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho commented: “The development of these guidelines has been a great achievement for the ITF and its affiliates, and we are very proud of it. Now all ICAO member states will have to implement these guidelines at national level, providing workers with essential education and training on air quality.
“Of course, there is still a long way to go in the dialogue between the ILO, ICAO and employers, and improving designs and preventative maintenance are crucial, too. But these guidelines are a very significant step forward and show how we as ITF affiliates together can successfully push our governments to take protective decisions for the workers we represent at ICAO level.”
The ICAO guidelines can be purchased directly from the ICAO at http://www.icao.int and have been published in five of the ICAO languages.
Read about the ITF’s air quality working group.
Find out more about cabin air quality.
And keep up with the latest industry news at the ITF aviation blog.