Why pilots don’t have to wear masks when flying

It’s universally accepted that wearing a mask reduces the spread of viruses. As I continue to visit countries around the world, it has become an anomaly when you see people not wearing masks.

On an aircraft, the ventilation and airflow are better than any other enclosed spaces, on a par with an operating theatre. This, as well as the wearing of masks by passengers and crew, has resulted in a study by Harvard University declaring that there is a greater risk of transmission when out grocery shopping.

However, there are two people on the aircraft who will most likely not be wearing a mask. The pilots.

Aviation, like all aspects of life, is a balance of risk. Each time we accelerate 230 tons of carbon fibre down the runway at 180 mph and up into the sky, we are taking a risk. However, all these risks have been painstakingly assessed and evaluated, ensuring that flying is one of, if not the, safest modes of transport.

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