Health and consumer issues

The Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has initialised a number of research projects to analyse the possible effects on health of aircraft cabin environments. In addition to highly publicised concerns such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), disruptive behaviour and air quality, it has also investigated cosmic radiation and the effects of working practices onboard aircraft.

The final Regulatory Impact Assessment for the reform of Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL) Bonding was published on Tuesday 23 October 2007.

Impact assessment for increasing the ATOL Protection Contribution (165 kb)

An impact assessment in support of Minister's decision to increase the ATOL protection contribution to £2.50, announced on 16 July 2009.

21 July 2009

Air passenger experience at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester airports

In November 2007, the Secretary of State for Transport commissioned advice from CAA on improving the through-airport passenger experience. Concern was expressed about particular pinch points where there is potential for delay and where the responsibility for delivering a good service lies with a combination of bodies.

Cabin air quality frequently asked questions

Concerns have been raised in the media about the possibility of air crew and passengers being exposed to toxins in cabin air. The Department for Transport (DfT) has received a number of enquiries, and these are our answers to the most frequently asked questions.

21 April 2008
Last update:
02 March 2010

Cabin air sampling study functionality test (1 Mb)

Final Report after peer review. A Cranfield University report commissioned by the Department for Transport (DFT), on behalf of the Government’s Aviation Health Working Group (AHWG) to organise, manage and deliver a functionality test of a variety of air sampling devices capable of detecting a wide range of compounds in a cabin air environment. The functionality test was to be the preliminary stage of a major monitoring study of the cabin air environment, which the Department intends to conduct.

21 February 2008

Cabin air sampling study functionality test (135 kb)

Executive summary of a cabin air sampling study functionality test. Draft and subject to peer review.

26 November 2007

Reform of ATOL bonding - "in principle" decision

Letter from the Aviation Minister to the Chairman of the CAA giving agreement to the reform of ATOL bonding in principle.

21 August 2007

Aviation Health Working Group

Minutes of meetings.

Health in aircraft cabins

October 2003 report reviewing the use of aspirin and its effect on deep vein thrombosis.

Guidance on the Civil Aviation (Working Time) Regulations 2004

Guidance on the Civil Aviation (Working Time) Regulations following European Directive (2000/79 EC).

21 December 2005
Last update:
19 January 2006

Protection of air crew from cosmic radiation: Guidance material

Guidance material on the protection of air crew from cosmic radiation.

24 January 2006
Last update:
31 January 2006

For related documents, pages and internet links, see the column on the right.