SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2000

Air Quality and Comfort Measurement Aboard a Commuter Aircraft and Solutions to Improve Perceived Occupant Comfort Levels


AlliedSignal Aerospace, the manufacturer of the propulsion engines and auxiliary power unit of the BAel46 airframe performed air quality testing in cooperation with the airframe manufacturer, British Aerospace and the customer, Ansett Airlines to identify possible air contaminants entering the aircraft and to evaluate other factors that could affect the comfort of the aircraft occupants. Parameters measured include: volatile and semivolatile organic compounds, aldehydes, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxygen, relative humidity, temperature, and airflow. The airline evaluated the test results and recommendations and implemented changes in the aircraft air handling system based on these results. Measurement of carbon dioxide levels in the galleys was performed by the airline after modification to verify the effectiveness of the changes. Integrated carbon dioxide levels ranged from 780 to 4700 ppm during flight in the aft galley. Carbon monoxide was not detected by on-line measurement methods, and was at the method detection limit of the integrated sampling techniques. No tri-ortho-cresylphospahte, tri- meta-and-para-cresylphosphate, or trimethylolpropane phosphate were detected on charcoal filters used in the air supply systems to the cabin and cockpit. These filters had been in use for over 1000 hours. Tri-butyl-phosphate was detected, however. Volatile organic contaminants in the supply air and aft galley ranged from 0.11 to 4.43 mg/M3. Summation of odor thresholds ranged from 0.28 to 5.35 for mixtures in air and 9.63 to 88.9 for mixtures in water, indicating that some odors could potentially be detected.

Author Information

Fox, RB
Honeywell, Engines and Systems Sector, Phoenix, AZ
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Developed by Committee: D22
Pages: 161–186
DOI: 10.1520/STP14494S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5441-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2866-8