Tech start-up creates handheld fume detector for aircraft

Tech start-up creates handheld fume detector for aircraft

A tech start-up has announced that it has created what it claims to be the world’s first real-time detector of poisonous compounds in aircraft cabins.

London-based VN Aerotoxic Detection Solutions Ltd (VN-ADS) is aiming to tackle “fume events” and “aerotoxic syndrome” and is looking to start field-testing on commercial flights.

The start-up has spent two years developing the handheld detectors and wants airlines to give it a try on their flights.

VN-ADS technical director Prof Jeremy Ramsden said: “For decades there have been claims of toxic fume events aboard the world’s leading passenger aircraft. It isn’t something the industry likes to talk about but there’s been increasing media coverage in recent years as evidence grows of links between the events and serious ill health.

“Airlines and aircraft manufacturers are playing down these events, while the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is reported as asserting that cabin air is safe, with no evidence of long-term health effects. Aircraft certification standards stipulate that ‘crew and passenger compartment air must be free from harmful or hazardous concentrations of gases or vapours’ but there’s no real-time instrumental monitoring of aircraft cabin air to ensure this actually happens.

“Until now, there has been no on-board device capable of doing it. The VN-ADS detector is such a device. It is a gamechanger, designed as a handheld and complying with all on-board aviation safety standards.”

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