Have you ever seen white smoke/ fog inside your aircraft? Do you ever wonder, Oh My God what is this? Is my Plane or fire or is there any technical issue going on? Are you curious to know what it is exactly? Read on!
Whether you have noticed it or not, reading about it will prepare you for the next time if you see fog inside your aircraft cabin, you need not worry because it’s a normal process that is carried out inside an aircraft before take-off. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why fogging is done and the type of gas that is used in the process.
Why is fogging done inside the aircraft?
Do you know the maximum altitude at which there is enough oxygen in the atmosphere to support human breathing is around 20,000 feet above sea level? A commercial aircraft, on the other hand, typically flies between 31,000 & 38,000 feet, in the air, and reaches its flying height within the first 10 minutes of a flight.
Hence it is clear that humans need an environment where they can breathe normally as they breathe on land even when they are flying. And each aircraft has a specific system and process to make flying smooth for everyone.
With the above explanation, here comes our first reason that fogging is done to improve the air quality inside the cabin. Air in aircraft cabins is known to be dry and low in humidity, which can be uncomfortable for both passengers and crew. To make the air more comfortable to breathe, fogging works to enhance the humidity inside the cabin and decrease the dryness.
Experts say that the unusual “indoor weather” is frequently experienced by aircraft taking off from hot, humid locations. That’s because the aircraft’s onboard air conditioning system is quickly cooling and condensing the humid air outside. As a result, waves of water vapour are released to make it all a good environment to breathe and travel smoothly. The whole process may often be called Cabin pressurization.
In reality, it is nothing more than the air conditioner’s extremely cold air driving moisture out of the air. Although most aircraft are equipped with a unique water separator to avoid this problem, the machinery occasionally fails when the outside temperature and humidity are particularly high.
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The second reason that the fogging is done inside the aircraft before take-off is to clean the cabin and shield the crew and passengers from dangerous microorganisms. Fogging is the process of covering every surface in the cabin, including the seats, tray tables, overhead bins, and lavatories, with a fine mist of disinfection. By eradicating any germs or viruses that might be in the cabin, this procedure helps to lower the risk of infection.
This practice was highly in use during the covid era, Countries have different regulations regarding whether or not passengers must be on board for a plane to be disinfected, though most demand it after the doors are shut.
Now you must be thinking are these disinfectants harmful to human health? So, let me tell you that, spraying approved permethrin-based insecticides does not provide any health risks to passengers or crew, according to the WHO.
It does, however, mention that after being introduced to pesticides on airplanes, some travellers worry about their health. In order to allay passenger concerns, WHO has discovered no proof that the listed pesticide sprays are harmful to human health if used as advised.
The third reason could be to get rid of any odours that might be in the cabin. For long-haul flights, where passengers may spend many hours in the cabin, this is especially crucial. The disinfectant used in fogging helps to neutralize any unpleasant odours, creating a more pleasant environment for passengers and crew.
How long does the fog stay inside the aircraft and is there anything to worry about?
Concluding this article, I would like to tell you all that there is nothing to worry about at all and the fog remains only for a minute or two for whatever reason it is being sprayed.