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Pexco’s AirShield Receives FAA STC Approval

Pexco Aerospace’s AirShield technology, which blocks airborne germs and odors, has received STC (special type certificate) certification from the FAA for use on the A320 family of narrowbody aircraft.

What is AirShield?

Pexco AirShield receives FAA STC approval.
AirShield integrated on overhead PCU panel. Source: Pexco

AirShield, integrated with existing passenger air vents, works alongside HEPA filtration systems to provide air barriers for each passenger, preventing the entry of germs and odors. This increases passenger health by reducing shared air by a minimum of 76 percent and enhances the removal and replacement of polluted particles with fresh air by 230 percent. Breath, sneeze, and cough droplets are trapped and sent to HEPA filters before reaching others in a narrowbody cabin.

Rigorous research into cabin airflow

Pexco AirShield receives FAA STC approval.
AirShield airflow. Source: Pexco

Pexco conducted an extensive independent assessment of cabin airflow to optimize AirShield’s design and performance. This involved on-wing tests in partnership with major airlines and aircraft lessors like American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Avolon.

Pexco’s study showed that aircraft cabins efficiently exchange and clean air, with the HEPA filtration system eliminating bacteria and viruses. However, in narrowbody aircraft, airborne particles and odors could cross-contaminate neighboring passengers’ seats before being filtered out. AirShield prevents this.

Since AirShield’s inception, Pexco has invested in over 8,000 expert person-hours, generated over 60 million data points of CFD, created over 30 prototypes for over 100 lab tests, and completed 22 on-wing tests in the aircraft of three major airlines. All to ensure AirShield sets a new standard for passenger wellbeing in narrowbody cabins.

Applying engineering expertise for cleaner cabin air 

Pexco AirShield receives FAA STC approval.
An aircraft cabin equipped with AirShield units. Source: Pexco

Pexco’s AirShield is a durable product developed for FAA certification. It is designed not to obstruct passengers’ view of emergency signs or affect the existing HEPA filtration system. It is out of the ‘head strike’ zone, eliminating the need for airlines to recertify their seats.

AirShield is lightweight and easy to install, taking less than a minute per unit. It can be installed during standard overnight aircraft maintenance and removed quickly if necessary, without any need for aircraft modification.

For enhanced hygiene, AirShield is manufactured with an antimicrobial additive that kills 99.99 percent of bacteria, including antibiotic resistant strains. This aids airlines maintain high hygiene standards onboard.

Anthony Ciringione, VP of Sales & Marketing at Pexco Aerospace, emphasizes the need for proactive measures for passenger wellbeing in the cabin in anticipation of potential future airborne pandemics.

“In the last twenty years the global airline industry has faced SARS, Swine Flu, MERS, as well as COVID-19 and influenza,” Ciringione says. “If history teaches us anything, there will be another airborne pandemic or epidemic – it is only a matter of time. We need a fresh approach to passenger wellbeing in the cabin, implementing long-lasting and proven innovations that improve hygiene onboard today, so it is effectively prepared for what will come tomorrow.”

Survey Says: Passengers keen to fly with AirShield

Pexco AirShield receives FAA STC approval.
Personal air flow provided by AirShield. Source: Pexco

An independent passenger survey of leisure travelers in the United States has showcased the growing demand for AirShield:

  • 91 percent agreed that AirShield makes them feel like an airline is taking care of them.
  • 89 percent would feel more comfortable flying with AirShield post-pandemic.
  • 86 percent of respondents also stated they would choose to fly with an airline with AirShield installed over one without.
  • 71 percent would also pay more for a ticket if an airline equipped its planes with AirShield.
  • 71% are willing to pay more for airline tickets equipped with AirShield.

AirShield enhances the in-flight experience by providing ‘virtual distance’ and preventing odors without altering cabin temperature or air volume. It circulates air around passengers without blowing directly onto them, creating a protective cocoon. It is also 50% quieter than standard aircraft air filters.

Getting FAA STC certification for AirShield was a long process of engineering and product development. This certification is a big win for the company, with the potential to positively benefit flyers around the world. 

“Bringing blue-sky innovation to the cabin interior is a challenge that requires investment of time, money, and engineering expertise. Achieving FAA certification was the last hurdle for AirShield. There is now nothing stopping airlines using AirShield to enhance the in-flight experience and protect the personal space of millions of passengers who step onboard every day – something economy travelers have wanted for a long time,” Ciringione says. Pexco is discussing with airlines in the US, Europe, and Asia to have AirShield installed on A320 aircraft by early 2023. This supports airline industry recovery and passenger wellbeing. Pexco is also exploring certification options for AirShield on other aircraft types, including the Boeing 737.

Discover more: www.flyairshield.com

About Pexco Aerospace:

Established in 1973, Pexco Aerospace, a TransDigm company, has set global standards as a premier manufacturer of components and assemblies associated with commercial aerospace applications. The company’s highly specialized solutions have found their application in countless programs and critical ventures, including groundbreaking initiatives like the Boeing 787. Based in Yakima, Washington, Pexco Aerospace has consistently emerged as the top supplier of plastic extrusions and fabrications for Boeing and numerous other aerospace Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), delivering bespoke products that adhere to the most stringent industry standards. Explore more at www.pexcoaerospace.com

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