How clean is the air on a private jet?

by PBJ Staff / Mar 18, 2022

Covid-19 has made people more aware than ever of the safety and air quality of their immediate environment. If you’re considering chartering a private jet, you might wonder: how clean is the air in an aeroplane?

To put your mind at rest, we discuss the air quality on planes, explaining how air cleaning systems and air filters in private jets work — and why you can feel confident about Covid-19 safety on private jet flights.

How Clean is the Air in an Aeroplane Cabin?

There’s a myth that air in an aeroplane cabin is dirty and stale. Yet this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Air Quality on Private Jets and Airliners

Firstly, aeroplanes spend much of their time at high altitudes, where the air is very clean, dry, oxygen-poor and practically particle-free. Air taken in by your aircraft is already much more contaminant-free than what you breathe at ground level.

Secondly, air quality depends on how air circulates, and how often it’s refreshed and cleaned, as this disperses and/or removes dirt and microbes. Aeroplanes do this efficiently, so the air quality in your private jet or commercial plane is almost certainly cleaner than the air in the airport shops you visit.

Let’s look at the air cleaning technology used on aeroplanes.

100% Fresh Air Systems

100% fresh air systems are used on many business jets. They work by constantly drawing fresh air through the engines, sterilizing it via compression and heat, then cooling it before delivery to the cabin. It’s then removed again, meaning that typically, the air is completely replaced in your cabin every 2-3 minutes. That’s about 10 times more often than the air in most offices.

Plasma Ionisation 

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, in summer 2020, Gulfstream announced it was developing a plasma ionization system to make fresh air systems even cleaner. This system is activated alongside the aircraft’s environmental control system. It emits positive and negative oxygen ions that inactivate harmful pathogens and particulates. It’s now standard on some Gulfstream models and being retrofitted on many more.

Recirculated Air Systems

Recirculated air systems are used on many larger private jets. They recirculate some of the air within the cabin, providing better humidity control and temperature control. This air is cleaned and mixed with fresh air. The proportion of fresh to recirculated air varies from plane to plane. However, the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency require a minimum rate of 0.55 pounds per minute outside fresh air flow per occupant

HEPA filters

HEPA (High-Efficiency Particle Assurance) filters are used in aseptic environments such as laboratories and hospital operating rooms. They’re designed to capture bacteria, viruses and other particulates, and must capture a minimum of 99.97% of contaminants measuring 0.3 microns.

They’re usually used with recirculated air systems and found on most commercial airliners and larger business jets. Air is pumped in at ceiling level and sucked away below seat level, helping to prevent air from travelling forwards or backwards between passengers. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both built-in and retrofitted HEPA air filters have become increasingly common in private jets.

Is the Air Cleaner in a Private Jet Than in a Commercial Plane?

While the air cleaning systems on private jets aren’t necessarily better than those on commercial airliners, other factors make private jet flights more Covid-safe. 

  • Reduced and known contacts. On a private jet, you will be flying with far fewer fellow passengers and a smaller crew. That means a much-reduced chance of coming into contact with someone Covid-positive. You’ll also probably know most if not all the people you’re flying with and be aware of their Covid safety status.
  • Reduced exposure risk before and after your flight. Thanks to private check-ins, lounges and transport arrangements, you avoid wading through hundreds of people in the airport and close proximity in check-in and luggage retrieval queues. 
  • More sanitary surfaces. On a private jet, far fewer people are making contact with touchpoints. Also, more relaxed turnaround times ensure plenty of time for thorough cleaning.
a group of people are sitting on a private plane

Clean Air Systems and Air Filters on Private Jets

Very light jets, such as the popular Citation Mustang, usually employ 100% fresh air systems. This ensures the air is completely refreshed and sterilized every two to three minutes. Let’s look at the Mustang alongside two other popular planes and their air cleaning systems.

The Citation Mustang: 100% Fresh Air System

Small yet perfectly formed, the 4-seater Mustang has one of the largest baggage capacities and fastest cruising speeds (up to 630 km/h) in the very light jet class. Economical and easy to pilot, it can land at some of the very smallest airports. It doesn’t lack in comfort, though, with fully reclinable leather seats, storage space consoles, and retractable worktables.

The Phenom 300E: Recirculated Air System

The Phenom 300 is ultra-modern with a state-of-the-art cockpit. Its maximum cruise speed of 859 km/h and maximum range of 3,686 km are impressive for a super-light jet, meaning you can fly coast to coast across the US non-stop. It seats nine passengers in high-density seating and seven passengers in a more comfortable arrangement.

The Bombardier Global: Recirculated Air System & HEPA Filtration

The Bombardier Global 6000 is an ultra-long-range business jet with a cruising speed of 950 km/h, accommodating up to 18 passengers and 2 crew members. With a range of 5960 nautical miles, it can fly non-stop from New York to Tokyo.

The ultra-quiet cabin is the largest in this class, offering a crew rest area and scope for multiple configurations including a private stateroom and galley.

Book Your Private Jet Charter with Confidence

At Paramount Business Jets, your health and safety are our primary concerns. We ensure that our selected operators take all the necessary measures to ensure your experience is as safe as possible.

All the air cleaning systems used on private jets are highly effective, so you can charter any of the planes we have access to without concern. However, if you have any queries about air cleaning systems,  just call us on +1-877-727-2538 ext. 1., or email us at charter@paramountbusinessjets.com. We will be happy to help.

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