The University of Nottingham and the Finnish National Institute of Health and Welfare (available on open access here) have done a study on "Deposition of respiratory virus pathogens on frequently touched surfaces at airport". I.e. they swabbed a load of surfaces at airports and looked at which ones had cold and flu germs on them. Toilet lids, flushes, and interior door locks scored zero. So did lift buttons, check-in screens, and escalator buttons.
The winners? The plastic dog in the children's playground, and luggage trays at the security area, of which rhinovirus, adenovirus, influenza A, and human corona OC43 were each found on 50% of trays sampled.*
The reason for the investigation related to the possibility of airports spreading pandemic flu. Personally, I'm going to be using a LOT of handgel at security from now on. Just to make this study extra special, the samples were taken at Helsinki airport, where antisoppist and I will be next week. I'd better make sure I have plans not to come back to work afterwards - I suspected that being ill immediately after 5 out of my last 5 years September holidays was not sheer coincidence!
In other fun flying news, British pilot licenses will become invalid and have to be reissued after a no-deal Brexit.
Former head of flight operations Captain Mike Vivian [at the CAA] believes a deal will be ultimately reached but says the skills shortage at the CAA is concerning.
He told Sky News: "The CAA has to ramp up the staff that it previously had to discharge these tasks before they were given over to EASA - and that might take some time.
"As of 29 March next year the European Aviation rules and certification and all the rest that go with it cease overnight.
"I don't believe that any responsible body, least of all our government or the CAA, would let it run until that point. We should have clarity I would have thought by the end of this year."
Responsible body??? That just guarantees that if the current government is in charge of it, we're grounded.
*Don't pay by card in the airport pharmacy, either. But that was a smaller sample.
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