About the Airline Cabin Environment Research (ACER) Center

Across the Federal Aviation Administration, change is in the air. From flight decks and aircraft-537963_1920control towers to runways and radar stations, our national air transportation system is moving toward an unprecedented, paradigm-shifting change called the Next Generation Air Transportation System – NextGen for short. NextGen is expected to redefine how we manage our national airspace system and, over the next decade, will be built by a series of coordinated system upgrades involving transitions to satellite based navigation, improved surveillance, enhanced weather forecasting and flight planning along with digital data exchange through a scalable, network centric information architecture. NextGen will enable flying more passengers, more cargo, more types of aircraft, more safely, more precisely, using less fuel, making less noise and creating less environmental impact!

While NextGen is focused on safely moving aircraft from point to point, ACER’s complementary focus is on the safety and health of traveling passengers and working crew while& inside the cabin as aircraft move through the system. Aircraft passenger cabins provide the smallest available volumes per person of any enclosed public spaces. Passengers and crew can not simply “walk outside” if they perceive poor air quality. Potential air contaminants or infectious diseases must be quickly and effectively removed by the on-board aircraft systems to ensure safety and health within the cabin. ACER’s mission is to undertake the critical research and technology development necessary to ensure a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for passengers and crew in commercial airliners. ACER is accomplishing this mission by actively working in two parallel programmatic thrusts:

  • Performing rigorous, scientifically valid environmental health research in aircraft cabins and cabin simulators, and
  • Testing and developing advanced technologies to sense and prevent safety and health incidents within aircraft cabins.

The ACER research consortium is a collaborative enterprise involving academia, industry and government. These collaborative relationships enable ACER to rapidly seek answers to perplexing scientific questions and develop solutions to solve problems. Industrial participation includes aircraft manufacturers, environmental control system and sensor manufacturers, airline operators, professional and trade organizations as well as software producers. Government participation includes national laboratories and federal and state agencies with mutual interests. Collaboration with the private sector is highly encouraged through the FAA’s mandate that ACER cost share research projects using non-federal matching dollars.