Movement Strategies (MS), in collaboration with the National Research Council Canada (NRC), has been awarded funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct research into the risk to passengers during air travel in the event of future viral outbreaks.
This research project will span over 18 months and aims to model and quantify the risk associated with routine passenger actions given the environmental conditions present. By understanding the relationships between these factors, we hope to inform the FAA's assessment of future air travel scenarios and the effectiveness of potential mitigation efforts.
We have recently delivered Phase I of this project (with submissions now under review) involving the development of data collection methods. MS and NRC are now preparing for the commencement of Phase II - which starts at the end of August. Phase II will involve the application of the methods developed in Phase I - enabling field and experimental observations of behavioural, physiological and environmental elements.
The animation above shows a simple simulation derived from data collected during in Phase I field observations. These simulations were conducted to ensure the consistency between the data collection approaches adopted when examining the same situation - this enabled us to determine whether data collected at the individual level (e.g. delays at a counter) might generate observations at the aggregate level (in this case, queue length). We will continue to use simulation tools to assess the consistency of experimental procedures, increase confidence in the data collected through repetition, and also apply the data collected to adjacent scenarios of interest.