BAE Systems and Quest International UK Lead the Way in Setting New Cabin Air Standards

CCFT (Close Coupled Field Technology) eliminates smells, and breaks down and destroys airborne pathogens, contaminants and toxins.

BAE Systems has joined forces with Quest International UK of Cheadle, Cheshire (a Small Medium Enterprise - SME) to introduce to the world’s airlines the AirManager, a radical new active air management system, which sets a new standard for exceptionally clean air on board aircraft.

In addition to introducing AirManager onto its own BAe 146/Avro RJ airliners, BAE Systems has signed an agreement with Quest International UK to bring the benefits of the breakthrough AirManager technology to the wider aviation market. Under this agreement BAE Systems will act as an authorised distributor for worldwide sales to airlines of the AirManager system for an initial period of five years.

Through its Regional Aircraft business BAE Systems has not only engineered and certificated the installation of AirManager onto its own aircraft, but has also designed and certificated a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), for installation on the Boeing 757, with a trial unit now being evaluated. Contracts for future STC designs on other aircraft types will be determined by Quest International UK in the light of market demand.

Sean McGovern, Operations Director of BAE Systems’ Regional Aircraft business said today: “In embracing Quest International UK’s remarkable AirManager technology BAE Systems’ approach has been to raise the bar to a new level. At a time when there is increasing concern about the transmission of infections on aircraft, together with the continued debate about the quality of air on board aircraft, we are making available benchmark technology to the world’s airlines to allow them to address the widest possible challenges to cabin air quality.”

Quest International UK’s AirManager system was developed in the late 1990s initially for use in the health sector. Since then some 5,000 units have been supplied to hospitals, nurseries, veterinary premises, quarantine centres and many other sectors.

The internationally patented AirManager uses a revolutionary development – CCFT (Close Coupled Field Technology) – which is a contained and safe electrical field that eliminates smells, and breaks down and destroys airborne pathogens, contaminants and toxins.

David Hallam, inventor of the technology and Director of Quest International UK explained: “the main strength of CCFT is its ability to destroy a wide range of contaminants very quickly. It achieves a single-pass kill rate of 99.999% of bio-hazards and removing particles down to below 0.1 micron [ a micron is one millionth of a metre], which is equivalent to a single particle of cigarette smoke. Our active air treatment systems provide reduction of airborne contaminants to levels far in excess of those achieved by conventional passive HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrest) filters. The AirManager system maintains its superiority over other new technology air purification systems by virtue of its broad spectrum of operation – it is not just a point solution to a point problem.”

Quest International UK approached BAE Systems Regional Aircraft in 2004 to investigate whether the AirManager could be engineered to work effectively on board commercial aircraft.

BAE Systems has undertaken a substantive four-year scientific research evaluation through its Advanced Technology Centre and supporting agencies to verify the technology and investigate and ensure that it could be safely installed in aircraft. The research included tests on pyrolised engine oils, hydraulic and de-icing fluids with startling results under laboratory conditions. The AirManager destroyed the tiny amounts of resulting Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in one pass by breaking the compounds down into single harmless anatomical parts.

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