According to dr. Marcel Loomans, from the Eindhoven University of Technology, there is just as much risk of contamination for the coronavirus in airplanes as in other places.
Loomans says this in a message on LinkedIn. According to Loomans, the argument that the air is refreshed and filtered in an airplane at a high rate is not convincing. The fact that the airflow is directed downwards in airplanes, so that air exchange between passengers does not take place, also sounds strange to Loomans.
To substantiate his story, Loomans cites a study from 2004. The study took place in a flying plane. The investigation shows that there is a circulating air flow. Loomans also cites other literature that shows the same thing. The same type of ventilation system can be expected for new aircraft.
Operating rooms and cleanrooms
In addition, according to the scientist, a downward airflow is difficult to create and mainly takes place in operating rooms and cleanrooms (rooms in which high-tech companies such as ASML develop their products). The airflow in aircraft therefore does not reduce the risk of contamination. Large drops and aerosols can still be transferred between passengers.
At the end of the message, Loomans says that he has the impression that the rules regarding aircraft are dictated more by political and economic interests than by health reasons. The researcher states that he understands the situation, but wonders why the situation for the aviation sector is different from other everyday economic activities.
The course of events, according to Loomans, has the effect of blurring the message that the coronavirus is still prevalent, and that it can still make people very ill, or even die from it.