Is it Safe to Fly?
With the holidays approaching, many are wondering how safe air travel is. Two recent studies offer some positive news.
A study released by Harvard University’s Aviation Public Health initiative on October 27, 2020 concluded that air travel is as safe as—or substantially safer than—routine activities many people are undertaking during these times. The study points to the ventilation systems on planes that refresh the air every two to three minutes, and new measures, including heavy-duty disinfecting, strict face mask enforcement and social distancing during boarding and deplaning.
“The risk of Covid-19 transmission on airplanes is lower than the transmission risk in other common settings such as grocery stores and indoor restaurants,” according to the Harvard scientists.
The findings from the Harvard group echo a recent report from the U.S. Department of Defense that also concludes that virus spread is “minimal” on planes. The test, conducted in late August showed an “overall low exposure risk from aerosolized pathogens like Covid-19 on these aircraft.”
While these studies offer some hopeful results, travelers should carefully consider their personal health, conditions at their departure and destination locations, and a host of other factors when making air travel decisions.