A new electric filter has been designed to reduce the spread of viruses and provide enhanced norovirus and swine flu protection. The filter is specifically designed to be fitted onboard commercial aircraft in an effort to reduce the international spread of these highly contagious viruses.
According to the systems designers it is able to destroy around 99.9 per cent of known infectious diseases onboard an aircraft. The swine flu filtering system has been designed and constructed by the aerospace giant BAE Systems, alongside a smaller firm, Quest International.
The swine flu protection system is know as “AirManager” and relies upon an electrical field to destroy germs and other pollutant particles circulating in the air. This is quite unlike a conventional air filtration system which seeks solely to remove the particles from the air.
Alongside its ability to destroy swine flu and the norovirus the system is also proven to reduce the spread of dreaded “superbugs” like MRSA and C.difficile. Due to this it is also being considered for use by the NHS in an attempt to reduce the spread of these killer “superbugs” and enhance the current standards of hospital cleaning.
The swine flu filter is especially effective onboard aircraft as the air inside the cabin can be recirculated up to 30 times in a single hour. This could lead to passengers being exposed to infected air numerous times on a flight. Introduction of the swine flu filters may also put an end to the practice of pre-take off disinfectant spraying on long haul flights.
The swine flu filtration system was recently tested onboard numerous aircraft including a Boeing 757. After these successful tests one airline has already placed a firm order. One downside to the filters is their price tag. At £10,000 the price tag may not seem that steep when compared to the operating costs of an aircraft, however a large aircraft would require up to eight swine flu air filtration systems to deal with the volume of air inside the cabin. Regardless of this it is clear that these swine flu protection filters are a break through in the battle against infectious diseases.