By Nadia Gilani
Last updated at 5:59 PM on 9th October 2011
British airlines have been hit by toxic fumes leaking on board at a rate of five flights a week unbeknown to passengers, new figures reveal.
The Civil Aviation Authority, which regulates UK airlines received 254 reports of problems in the cabin or cockpit in the latest 12-month period for which figures are available.
The data logs emergency landings, distress calls and incidents where cabin crew have had to wear oxygen masks, the Sunday Express reported.
Issues including electrical issues, problems in the cabin or cockpit have been documented without any announcements made to passengers on board at the time.
The dossier containing the data has been released just as plane manufacturer Boeng agreed an undisclosed payout to former flight attendant, Terry Williams for her exposure to contaminated air.
The mother-of-two said she suffered memory loss, and speech and vision impairment after toxic air leaked into the cabin of an American Airlines plane in 2007.
Captain Hoyte, chairman of the Aero toxic Association said: ‘The numbers of people who have suffered like her are frightening and we only seem to find out about it by accident.
‘This needs to be taken much more seriously.’
The CAA has also reveals how flights have been diverted to airports for emergency landing after crew have fallen ill.
Cabin aircraft on most aircraft is supplied unfiltered through the outside engine system.
It can be contaminated by an oil leak, which leads to pungent smells that can cause headaches, nausea or even unconsciousness.
The Department for Transport has denied claims that the CAA dossier should cause concerns for people on board flights.