As part of the virtual Aircraft Interiors Expo 2021, the Crystal Cabin Awards in the special categories "Clean and Safe Air Travel" and "Judges' Choice Award" have been presented for the first time. French cabin interiors specialist Safran won over the international expert jury in both categories. The two special categories were developed by a task force of jury members in response to the global coronavirus pandemic and its impact on aviation worldwide. 2022 is expected to see the leading international industry prize take place in person again as part of the key global trade show, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, drawing the who's who of the commercial aviation industry to Hamburg as it regularly does.
"Clean & Safe Air Travel" is targeted at innovations for aircraft in the areas of health, hygiene, safety, and cleanliness. The "Judges' Choice Award" has been designed for entries that would otherwise have been submitted in one of the eight regular categories, including Cabin Systems and In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity. These two special categories were developed by a task force of the Crystal Cabin Award Association, which is led by Hamburg Aviation, in collaboration with members of the expert jury, spread over four continents. For the first time, five finalists were shortlisted per category, rather than three. The awards ceremony for the eight main categories of this globally recognised prize for cabin innovations and on-board products was also broadcast in TV format in March 2021. For the virtual presentation of awards in the two new special categories, the digital Aircraft Interiors Expo on 15 September represented the ideal setting.
Hygiene concepts for the aircraft cabin competed neck-and-neck in the "Clean and Safe Air Travel" category. In the end, Safran Cabin took the honours with its "Beacon Clean Lavatory". This innovative bathroom concept represented the company's response to increased passenger hygiene expectations, combining antibacterial surfaces with hands-free features. Speaking from Hamburg's ZAL Center for Applied Aeronautical Research, Carsten Laufs, Vice President Product and Innovation Management of Crystal Cabin partner Diehl Aviation congratulated the winners.
Safran prevailed over the other four finalists in the "Judges' Choice Award" category, too. The Safran Seats team's winning entry in cooperation with Universal Movement is called "Interspace". Wing-like cushions can be retrofitted, folding out of the backrest of the aircraft seat to enhance not only comfort but also privacy, functioning as a partition between seats. The innovation is targeted primarily at short and medium-haul economy and business class flights. Jury chairwoman Melissa Raudebaugh, General Manager Aircraft Experience at Delta Airlines, presented the winning team with the snow-white Crystal Cabin Award trophy via video link.
Presentation of the eight main categories for 2022
All ten finalists were required to present their entries to the international Crystal Cabin Award jury in a virtual final round. Submission for the main categories will open in October again. For more information, visit www.crystal-cabin-award.com.
The complete awards ceremony, including a panel discussion with representatives of the jury on "The End of the Class-based Society for Air Travel?" is available at https://youtu.be/rNttskh-Ph8