Flight deck humidification – for safer skies and healthier pilots

In the vast expanse of the sky, where the horizon stretches endlessly, pilots navigate through the clouds, steering their aircraft with precision and care. It's a place where focus and alertness are paramount, and the environment plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of both crew and passengers. But there's an invisible challenge up there, one that's been overlooked for too long: the arid atmosphere of the flight deck.
Flight deck humidification - For safer skies and healthier pilots by CTT Systems
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The flight deck humidity challenge

Imagine the Sahara Desert or Death Valley, notorious for their dryness. Now, picture that same level of dryness, but at 35,000 feet in the air. This is the reality for pilots during long-haul flights, where the Relative Humidity (RH) can drop to a staggering 3%. Such extreme conditions pose a significant risk to health, with dehydration of the mucous membranes impairing the body’s first line of defense against pathogens, leading to a weakened immune system. Dry air doesn’t just affect the body; it impacts the mind, with fatigue setting in, reducing alertness and compromising safety. 

It was proved that a 1 percent decrease in relative humidity was associated with a 7-8 percent increase in cases of COVID-19 infections.

Health implications

The human body is not designed to function in a dry environment with less than 20% RH and so it is adversely affected when exposed to extremely low RH levels. Here are some serious risks of having the usual, and far too low, air humidity in the flight deck. 

A weakened immune system

A weakened immune system not only increases risks during the flight but also, perhaps more importantly, upon arrival at the destination. 

Dry eyes and skin

Side effects are nasal congestion and sinus pressure, while dry eyes may require the removal of contact lenses. There may also be problems with dry skin and allergies. 

Decreased taste

Even the pilots’ meals are affected, as low RH levels change the taste in the mouth and dehydrate the nasal cavity affecting the sense of smell. 

Negative impact on sleep

Finally, dry air has a negative impact on sleep as dehydration will be extreme. 

The fact that many respiratory virus infections have a seasonal pattern – where they are much more common during winter – depends partly on the low humidity in the air during those months.

From desert dryness to oasis

But there is a beacon of hope, a solution that transforms the flight deck from a desert into an oasis: the Humidifier Onboard system by CTT Systems. This innovative technology is a game-changer, providing a much-needed boost to RH levels, ensuring a comfortable 17% in the flight deck and 22% in the flight rest compartment. It’s a simple yet effective system, where water from the potable tank is sprayed over an evaporation pad, turning into pure water vapor that moistens the air without the risk of transmitting viruses or bacteria. 

How Humidifier Onboard is transforming pilot health

The benefits of this system are profound. Pilots can now breathe easier, literally. The once-common complaints of dry eyes, nasal congestion, and skin irritation are alleviated, and even the taste of meals is improved as the enhanced humidity restores balance to the taste buds and olfactory senses. Sleep quality is no longer compromised, allowing pilots to rest better and recover faster, ensuring they are alert and ready to perform their duties to the highest standards. 

The direct impact of Humidifier Onboard on pilots

CTT Systems’ innovative approach to in-flight humidity. The Humidifier Onboard isn’t just a technological advancement; it’s a commitment to pilot welfare, a testament to the importance of a healthy working environment. It’s no wonder that more than 90% of Boeing 787s and a growing number of Airbus A350s are now equipped with this system, with the Boeing 777X also offering it as an option. 

The future of flight deck comfort is here, and it’s not just for passenger flights. As the world of air cargo expands post-pandemic, the need for Humidifier Onboard freighters becomes equally important, ensuring that all pilots, regardless of their cargo, have access to the same level of comfort and safety. 

CTT Systems' vision for safer skies and healthier pilots

In the relentless pursuit of safer, healthier skies, the Humidifier Onboard stands as a beacon, transforming the once dry and challenging flight deck environment into an oasis of well-being and comfort for the pilots soaring through the boundless heavens.

It’s about respecting and supporting the human element of aviation. It’s about creating a healthier, more comfortable workspace for pilots, which in turn, leads to safer and more pleasant flights for everyone on board.

As you look to the skies, you can take comfort in knowing that there are companies like us at CTT Systems, who are dedicated to making the journey as important as the destination.

Humidifier Onboard Flight Deck 
– for safer skies and healthier pilots

What to do next
➔ Contact us for more information about humidity in aircraft
➔ Read more about the Humidifier Onboard Flight Deck
➔ Read the White paper: Humidification for Flight Deck 


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New appointment: Eric Beverage as Director of Sales Americas at CTT Systems

Mr. Eric Beverage
Director of Sales Americas

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Peter Landquist, VP Senior Advisor Sales at CTT Systems

Mr Peter Landquist
VP Senior Advisor Sales

+46 (0) 70 665 24 45
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