A Breath of Clean, Fresh Air

For the safety of the passengers on a private jet flight, the air quality is very carefully controlled, with recent advances making it even more clean and fresh

Issue: 11-2022By Rohit GoelPhoto(s): By Dassault Aviation, Qatar Executive
Dassault Falcon 6X has fresh air filtration system ensuring that passengers will arrive at the destination feeling refreshed

The air we breathe – particularly in an enclosed space – has a huge impact on our health and wellbeing. Cabin air quality on an aircraft carries the risk of communicable diseases transmission. The overall risk of contracting a disease from an ill person onboard an airplane is similar to that in other confined areas for a similar time of exposure.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a significant shift towards flying private to avoid getting infected. However, how clean is the cabin air on a private jet? Given the enclosed nature of an aircraft cabin, some people worry that it is somehow more prone to holding onto pathogens or viruses than a larger or naturally ventilated space. But that’s not necessarily the case, especially in a private jet. On a private jet flight, the air quality is very carefully controlled, with recent advances making it cleaner still. There are a number of ways to ensure high quality cabin air on a private jet, but most private jet aircraft fall into one of two categories – 100 per cent fresh air systems or recirculated air systems.

In a 100 per cent fresh air system, air from the outside is brought in through the engines on a continuous basis, then compressed and sterilised before it enters the cabin. Vents and valves are used to extract air out of the cabin at the same time – typically resulting in the cabin air being replaced entirely every two minutes. As the air being brought in is continually refreshed, the circulation minimises the spread of viruses and bacteria.

Some private jets recirculate air within the cabin, which provides for better humidity control and temperature control. A recirculated aircraft air system still takes in some fresh air but then mixes it with air already in the cabin that is cleaned before being re-used. The proportion of recirculated to fresh air can vary from aircraft to aircraft, as does the speed at which the cabin air is replaced.

Some private jet aircraft manufacturers have introduced HEPA filter systems, which capture bacteria, viruses and other particles, before air is recirculated. A HEPA filter captures a minimum of 99.97 per cent of contaminants at 0.3 microns in size. These are the same filtering systems that are used in hospitals and other environments where sterile air is a priority.


Aviation Clean Air’s (ACA) NeedlePoint Bi-Polar Ionisation process is proven to immediately purify the air and surfaces and neutralise pathogens throughout the aircraft interior. ACA’s airborne and ground units stop the spread of up to 99.9 per cent of airborne and surface pathogens, including COVID-19, and are available for all models of business and commercial aircraft. The NPBI process also removes odours, dust and pollen, sterilises mould, neutralises common industrial gases and reduces static electricity. The system provides constant decontamination of the aircraft interior without using or introducing chemicals.

Aerometrix can provide airlines with key information regarding air quality, ventilation efficiency, equipment health monitoring and many other operational parameters

The ACA Component is not a filter. The ACA Component electronically creates positive and negative ions from Hydrogen and Oxygen molecules in the water vapor present in the air. This replicates natures’ cleaning process with nothing else added. These ions have the property of clustering around micro particles, gases, airborne mould spores, viruses and bacteria. As this occurs, a natural reaction takes place on the cell membrane surface of airborne biological(s) where they rob the harmful biological of a hydrogen atom. As a result, the pathogens are inactivated, and odours are disassembled naturally. The pathogen will not be able to reproduce and will quickly die and the odours are converted to virtually pure air thereby eliminating the threat of the pathogens and odours to human health and comfort.

The Airborne Air & Surface Purification System is added to the existing environmental control system (ECS) and works whenever the system is on during all ground and flight operations. With ACA’s Airborne System constantly purifying the cabin air and surfaces, passengers can safely and comfortably conduct business as usual.


A VIP aircraft and a large-cabin bizjet requires active humidification from a high-performance system as all passive means are insufficient with marginal impact. CTT offers humidifiers and dehumidifiers for absolute control of humidity in an aircraft. CTT is the leading producer, designer and supplier of products that solves the humidity paradox in aircraft. Available for retrofit and line-fit on commercial aircraft as well as private jet completions, Humidifier Onboard is improving wellbeing and wellness in flight deck and crew rests on more than 1,000 widebody commercial airliners and close to 100 VIP aircraft. This highly appreciated climate feature has started to migrate to the premium passenger cabin and large-cabin, long-range business jets.

Cabin climate is key to the overall experience. A cabin climate optimised for wellbeing is all about replicating earth conditions. Temperature and humidity control is important. Extremely dry cabin air in a private jet cabin is not doing any good for passenger wellness and wellbeing. Modern large-cabin business jets have made great progress in lowering cabin altitude, reducing noise and vibrations, generating draft-free and fresher air, multiple temperature zones and advanced mode lightning. Humidity is the biggest deviator to what we are used to and built for. A significant increase of humidity is required to improve the performance of the cabin and elevate the total cabin environment experience.

Elevated humidity makes us feel better. We are always looking for the ways to differentiate. Innovation is experience centric. And experience comes through the senses. Anytime airlines can get more senses involved, the better. That transforms the experience to become more sensory. We feel, sleep and taste better. Arriving more ready to go. Less impacted from jetlag. Humidifier Onboard empowers wellbeing and transforms the dried-out cabin into one in which all cabin products and services can be experienced at their best. With air humidity at a ground-equivalent level, passengers stay hydrated and feel more balanced and at ease. A coveted VIP-passenger priority – sleep – also improves. VIPs arrive at their destination richer due to a better, richer and more sensory experience that leaves them refreshed, rested and ready to perform.


AEROMETRIX is the first global service to monitor passenger comfort, air quality and cabin systems on board aircraft. Covarians, a company that specializes in Internet of Things programmes for aviation, has launched a cabin air quality monitoring service.

The world service “Aerometrix” monitors air quality, passenger comfort and other environmental parameters. Aerometrix is based on a range of non-intrusive stand-alone sensors that can be installed without the need for aircraft modification, according to Covarians. The service provides airlines with information on thermal comfort, air quality, ventilation efficiency, equipment condition monitoring and many other operating parameters. Although modern aircraft generate giga bytes of data after each flight, very few relate to cabin environmental conditions and passenger’s experience. Introducing new sensors in aircraft requires a complex and costly modification process. Aerometrix is based on non-intrusive autonomous sensors installed on board the aircraft and connected to a data processing and analytics cloud. Aerometrix can provide airlines with key information regarding air quality, ventilation efficiency, equipment health monitoring and many other operational parameters. Covarians said its goal was “to make cabin air quality monitoring an affordable reality for airlines and passengers”.

Qatar Executive has a fleet that contains a unique filtration system that regularly pumps 100% fresh air into the cabin

“To ensure good measurement it is necessary to position the sensors at the most air quality representative spots within the cabin,” the company added. “Very often these spots are in plain sight of passengers so the sensors have to be as discreet as possible and match the finely crafted cabin style. Bearing all these requirements in mind, this is exactly what Covarians has achieved with Aerometrix sensors.” This has been a four-year long development programme with extensive experimentation. Over the past years Aerometrix sensors have flown more than 22,000 hours in regular passenger flights.


The Cabin Air Purification System (CAPS) from Villinger is now available for business jet operators to achieve purification and disinfection on board. It is based on patented LEA air disinfection technology, developed in close collaboration with virologists and medical engineers for improved air disinfection in hospitals during the pandemic. Villinger shares that in performance testing, executed by FDA-certified laboratory Aerosol Research & Engineering Labs, LEA achieved a microbial reduction rate of 99.99992 per cent of airborne viruses. “This proves CAPS’ capability to not only remove airborne pathogens and pollutants, but also inactivate them instantly,” says Markus Villinger, CEO at Villinger. “Doing so, CAPS operates without the formation of by-products such as ozone or NOx.”

CAPS is designed to have no considerable impact on the airflow rate within the air ducts, which Villinger says is a “large advantage over conventional filtration measures, such as HEPA”. LEA achieved the highest reduction rate he has seen in that short amount of time compared with conventional technologies such as UV or ionisers.

Depending on aircraft type and model, the required number of CAPS units is calculated by Villinger specialists prior to system integration, to achieve the best possible safety and hygiene.


Gulfstream has further invested in customer health through plasma ionisation. The air purification system, which complements Gulfstream’s already 100 per cent fresh-air environment, has proven in lab tests to kill pathogens and allergens. Gulfstream’s plasma ionisation system, which operates whenever the aircraft environmental control system is active, works by emitting positive and negative oxygen ions that actively seek out and inactivate harmful molecules in the air and on surfaces. This process neutralises particulate matter — not just bacteria and viruses, but also unpleasant odours from organic material like cigarette smoke.

“The addition of the plasma ionisation system further enhances the cabin health benefits customers can expect from the signature Gulfstream Cabin Experience,” said Mark Burns, President, Gulfstream. “By adding such a system in tandem with already 100 per cent fresh air and the proven Gulfstream airflow design, customers can fly their families and teams with even more peace of mind.”

Even when running solely on an auxiliary power unit, the system produces thousands of ions throughout the entire aircraft, ensuring that cabin air remains pure and surfaces are disinfected while aircraft are prepared by pre-flight caterers, cleaning crews and FBO technicians alike.