Extraordinary times call for extraordinary ideas. With the “Judges’ Choice Award” and “Clean & Safe Air Travel” categories, the Crystal Cabin Award, an internationally recognised seal of quality in the aviation industry, has launched two brand new special categories for innovative solutions to current challenges. A total of ten finalists are running neck-and-neck for the coveted trophies, with the winners to be announced on 15 September during the virtual Aircraft Interiors Expo.
In 2021, in view of the global Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on global air travel, there will be two special categories for the Crystal Cabin Award, the leading global accolade for innovations in the field of aircraft cabin and on-board products: “Clean & Safe Air Travel” and “Judges’ Choice Award”. “Clean & Safe Air Travel” is targeted at innovations for the aircraft cabin 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.
Feeling safe as we board again: “Clean & Safe Air Travel”
The final shortlist for the Crystal Cabin Award special category “Clean & Safe Air Travel” is made up of clearly defined ideas to help us board flights without fear again. “Touchless” features in the cabin, in particular, have received a real boost since the onset of COVID19. US company Rosen Aviation has developed its Holographic Controller so that even cabin crew members don’t have to touch surfaces. With this futuristic control panel, functions in the galley, for example, can be activated and operated using infra-red and motion sensors, eliminating the need for buttons.
From Safran Cabin comes Beacon Clean Lavatory, a concept for antimicrobial surfaces in the cabin bathroom where, once again, elements can be used without contact as far as possible. “In-flight safety”: with Lilac-UV from Collins Aerospace, both cabin crew and passengers can activate an ultraviolet disinfection lamp above the passenger seat during the flight for reliable occasional cleaning.
The innovation submitted by MGR Foamtex Ltd is another invisible protective shield, in this case designed to close the hygiene gap represented by seat fabric. As a rule, only superficial cleaning is possible between flights, which is where the MGRSafeWall™ comes into its own: usable on surfaces hard or soft alike, it has been shown to reduce the SARS-CoV-2 virus load on material by 85 percent within just a quarter of an hour and up to 99,9 percent within 2 hours.
Likewise, CleanAir™ from finalist Villinger GmbH also promises to make germs and viruses harmless. This air filter makes use of thousands of ionising micro-electrodes which make it possible to absorb particles substantially smaller than what is required by the current HEPA standard. Furthermore, the filter does not create ozone or nitric oxide as by-products.
“Judges’ Choice Award” Especially convincing
The second Crystal Cabin Award special category, the “Judges’ Choice Award”, honours entries that particularly impressed the international jury in 2021. Toyota Boshoku has a pair of horses in the race with two ideas for upgrading “cattle class”. The Japanese interior specialist’s CLOUD CAPSULE CONCEPT could soon offer economy passengers the option of climbing into a comfortable bunk bed berth in addition to their seat. And the POSITIVELY ECONOMY concept delivers three economy classes in one: an innovative eco-seat at the window, a personalised Premium Economy class, and Premium Plus seating in the center with more space and privacy.
Safran Seats (in cooperation with Universal Movement) is in contention for a space on the podium with the foldable Interspace wings, another concept promising a more peaceful experience for individual passengers. The wings, which can be retrofitted to economy and domestic business class seats, fold out of the backrest when required, providing both comfort and a protective screen between adjacent seats.
Rosen Aviation made it into the top 5 in this category, too: With The Maverick Project, the US company has a private jet cabin full of digital highlights and intuitive control panels and applications, developed in cooperation with SKY Style and KIPCreating, that learn from passenger behaviour.
Austria’s FACC AG and its cooperation partners FH Joanneum, Netwiss, Raltec research group, Rodlauer Consulting, TU Vienna, FFG, and BMVIT are also aiming to make an aircraft that is more accessible to everyone. On short-haul and medium-haul single-aisle aircraft, the lavatories are not really barrier-free, because the space for toilets is limited by the demand to maximise seating capacity. LAV4ALL promises 100-percent disabled-accessible aircraft lavatories for retrofit in aircraft ranging from the Airbus A320 up to wide-bodied jets.
Special categories to be presented during “AIX Virtual”
Just as for the main categories earlier in the year, the Crystal Cabin Award special category finalists will present their entries to the international judging panel in a virtual selection meeting. Presentation of the trophies in the “Clean and Safe Air Travel” and “Judges’ Choice Award” categories is planned for the virtual Aircraft Interiors Expo on 15 September 2021, 3:15 CET.
Acclaimed industry award – acclaimed industry support
The Crystal Cabin Award is supported by Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, Aircraft Interiors Expo (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, Ameco Beijing, APEX, ATR, AVIC Cabin Systems, The Boeing Company, SIMONA Boltaron, Collins Aerospace, Diehl Aviation, Etihad Aviation Group, FIT AG – Additive Manufacturing Group, Flightchic, Flightglobal, Future Travel Experience, Hamburg Aviation, Hamburg Invest, Inflight Magazine, Jetliner Cabins, RedCabin, Runway Girl Network, SEKISUI SPI and TSI Seats.