With a large amount of car traffic and hundreds of planes flying daily, it’s no wonder that airport terminals and buildings require more Industrial quality filtration. Because the surroundings at airports are severely polluted with toxins and particulate matter,  passengers and personnel must breathe clean air. With the rising demand for air travel, the increase on airplanes, passenger and staff busses, baggage trucks, and cleaning staff is challenging on air filtration systems. Most of these trucks are diesel-powered and operate close to gates and other passenger holding facilities. As a result, this is likely the source of most pollution within terminals and other airport structures.

The coronavirus epidemic has brought to light the need for clean air for world health. COVID-19 takes the topic indoors, whereas industrial pollution has dominated headlines for decades. The quality of indoor air—how it moves, how much it allows or does not allow unhealthy particles to disperse — can be the difference between staying healthy or becoming sick. For example, airline cabins are a source of concern among the interiors that have been frequently identified as possible hot spots for illnesses.

So it’s nice to know that the air inside an airplane is cleaner than you may expect. Thanks to high-quality filtration and adequate circulation aboard commercial aircraft, the air you breathe in flight is cleaner than in bars, grocery stores, restaurants, and even your own home or family and friends’ homes. So here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid of the air during in flight travel.

How is Aircraft Air Cleaned?

High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters are standard on most commercial airplanes, but not all. That implies that the airflow aboard HEPA-equipped airplanes is similar to an operating room where the airflow is uniform in both direction and velocity. Air is pushed through the cabin from the ceiling into the cabin and sucked out below the window seats at approximately one yard per second. 

The filtration system filters approximately 40% of the air inside of the cabin, and the other 60% is new air pumped in from outside the plane. While the airplane is in flight, the cabin air is replaced every three minutes.

Air Filtration Systems

Airport Particulate and Molecular Pollution

Airport air pollution is caused by more than just flights. The amount of road traffic near these locations and the buses and trucks on the ground to assist passenger and cargo loading activities are all contributors to the issue. The primary source of pollution is particulate matter: kerosene-powered jet engines and diesel engines both generate tiny particles in their combustion emissions. Other pollutants that can impact air quality and health include acetaldehydes, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and ozone. Other causes of air deterioration in buildings include things like odors, smoke from restaurant areas,  and numerous types of aldehydes.

Airport Filtration Needs

Air pollution from airplane fumes, airborne dust particles created by the movement of thousands of passengers, particulate matter from construction activities, and chemical vapors from the use of cleaning chemicals are ongoing threats to airport facilities and the areas surrounding them. High-efficiency particle filters and molecular gas filters serve an essential role in preventing harmful pollutants from harming interior air quality and, thereby, the health of passengers and airport workers. Their significance has grown in recent years as the public has become more aware of the risks of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuels used to generate electricity, transportation, and heating.

Ground-based greenhouse gas emissions are especially widespread in airport environments, where airport cars and ground support trucks utilize diesel fuel that is higher in pollutants. While particle and molecular air filters can help passengers avoid these emissions, airport management teams and local governments are taking steps to minimize greenhouse gasses to cut operational expenses and airport energy bills.


Plane In Terminal


How Commercial HEPA Filters Can Help Solve the Issue

Better efficiency air and molecular filters may be installed without modifying an airport’s current HVAC system. However, there are times when the filter holding frame must be modified to accommodate a more significant number of larger size of filters.

Another alternative for airports is installing industrial-style stand-alone air filtration systems in regions with a high amount of polluted air. The benefit of employing devices like these is that they may be programmed to activate when sensors detect poor air quality that requires immediate care. In addition, these units can use molecular filters or particulate filters to remove gaseous contaminants.

Airport Incentives and Funding for Industrial Air Filters

The good news is that various state and federal incentives are available to airports to help them increase their energy efficiency and reduce environmental emissions. These initiatives include tax-exempt leases, renewable energy cooperatives, power purchase agreements, and low-risk, low-cost choices. Additional incentives are available to airports and other public facilities, allowing them to purchase industrial air filtration systems, renewable energy buses, and solar panel arrays.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Sustainability Planning Program, for example, provides subsidies to airports working on Sustainability Master Plans or Airport Sustainability Plans. Greenhouse Gas inventories and emission reduction strategies are standard components of such programs.


Plane Traffic Runway


Beyond Industrial HEPA Air Filtration Systems

While high-efficiency air filters can help improve air quality within airports, the federal government recognizes that the primary source of the pollution must be addressed. As a result, government interventions such as the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act and the Clean Air Act are crucial in enacting reforms that cut Greenhouse Gas emissions at the source rather than just reacting to their repercussions.

Choosing High-Efficiency Commercial Filters for Airports

While such changes occur, airports must be proactive and deploy high-efficiency filters to their air filtration systems to safeguard their employees and passengers. In addition, the air within terminals and airport buildings must be clean. Using the proper air filtration system and filters can help remove pollutants such as soot, smoke, Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).


Terminal Outdoors


The Need for Cleaner Air

As technology advances, the ability to reduce pollutants becomes a more reachable goal. Air filtration systems and high-quality air filters are critical factors in helping clean the air we breathe. First, however, we must all work together to ensure we are doing our part to reduce the amount of pollution we create.  At Filti, we manufacture high-quality industrial, commercial and residential air filters to help keep the air we breathe clean and safe. For more information on Filti or to place an order for our products, visit our online store.

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