1.1.1 Various types of fumes, smoke, haze and mist may contaminate the cabin and flight deck air supply system. Outside air may be contaminated with engine oil, hydraulic fluid, engine exhaust, ground service vehicle exhaust, fuel, de-icing fluid or ozone. Recirculation fans are another potential source of contaminated air. Also, electrical systems and cabin items such as carry-on baggage, galley equipment and food items, lavatories, cleaning products, disinfectants and disinsectants may contaminate the cabin and/or flight deck air.
1.1.2 Of all of these potential contaminants in the cabin and flight deck, particular concerns have been raised regarding the negative impact on flight safety when crew members are exposed to oil or hydraulic fluid fumes or smoke, and experience acute symptoms in flight. Due to the potential flight safety implications, it is beneficial to provide guidance and instructional material to enable crew members to promptly recognize and respond to suspected air supply system-sourced fumes, as well as to enable aircraft maintenance technicians (AMT) to identify the source of the contaminants and to correct the issue.
1.1.3 At the 38th Session of the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) invited the Technical Commission to consider the flight safety implications of crew member exposure to oil fumes sourced to the aircraft air supply system. ITF and IFALPA also requested the ICAO Council to develop guidance material to improve awareness and training of flight crew, cabin crew and AMT related to the management of fume events.
1.1.4 The Technical Commission agreed with the intent of the ITF/IFALPA proposal and recommended that the Council review the proposal to develop guidance material. An ad hoc working group composed of subject matter experts from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), ICAO, the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA), IFALPA, and the ITF was subsequently tasked with development of the guidance material.
To read the full ICAO document click icao-circ-344-fume-events-doc
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