“Each of these segments involves unique activities such as storing and collecting luggage, using seat shells while eating, using entertainment systems, standing in the aisle, and using the toilet,” the study authors wrote.
When an aircraft is on the ground, its air supply can come from several places. This air is then mixed and distributed in the cabin. One source is the aircraft auxiliary power unit (A.P.U.), where the aircraft’s engine is running. This process consumes fuel and can cause noise and emissions at the airport. Air supply can also come from a ground source at the airport such as the jet bridge known as preconditioned air or P.C.A. This means that the air does not circulate at the usual speed. Researchers suggest that airlines can use air from the A.P.U. for improved filtration.
“This is important because during this time people exert themselves, causing the airways to increase for a brief period, increasing the potential for infectious aerosols to be exhaled into the cabin,” the Harvard study notes.
The researchers also suggest that people bring smaller and fewer bags on board, which would reduce their exertion and reduce the encounter with other travelers who also throw things into the overhead bins.
Michael Schultz, engineer at the Institute for Logistics and Aviation at the University of Dresden in Germany, and Jörg Fuchte, senior specialist at the German aerospace company Diehl Aviation, discovered this in the summer the amount and type The number of hand luggage people brought onto the plane as hand luggage influenced how long everyone stood in line and how many close contacts there were. They concluded that reducing hand luggage would reduce the number of close contacts by two-thirds.
The planning process is usually smoother than getting on board, as people naturally move in the order of the rows so travelers don’t have to worry as much. However, the jetway can be an area of risk if too many people are admitted without adequate distancing, several experts said. Travelers should keep their distance from others during this process and keep the aircraft’s ventilation systems on.
“The planning process can be improved by keeping passengers in their seats until they are instructed by a crew member to leave,” suggest the Harvard researchers.