AVM5002 - Hazards of aviation environment - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

A. Prof David Newman


Dr Simon May

Unit guides


Alfred Hospital

  • First semester 2019 (Online)


Available to Postgraduate students only


Understanding the various hazards to human health which are unique and specific to the aviation environment is crucial in developing countermeasures to protect humans from the adverse health effects of such exposures.

As a specialised subset of occupational medicine, aviation medicine requires an understanding of how to recognise, evaluate and control hazards to health that are specific to the aircraft environment.

In this unit students will explore the various aviation-specific hazards that pose risks for aircraft occupants.

Topics will include: the fundamentals of health surveillance and risk management, the various physical, chemical, biological and radiation hazards associated with the aviation environment, and specific issues relating to modern air travel such as cabin air quality, food and water on aircraft, waste management systems, communicable diseases and passenger fitness to fly.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to

  1. Recognise, assess, and evaluate the level of exposure and assess the degree of risk to health from workplace and environmental hazards as it relates to the aviation industry
  2. Summarise the physical, chemical and radiation hazards in the aviation environment
  3. Identify and describe the hazards unique to the aircraft cabin environment and ways to mitigate the consequences of exposure
  4. Evaluate the assessment of fitness to fly of passengers and the risks and challenges involved in the provision of inflight medical care
  5. Critically review the risks of communicable disease transmission during air travel and how those risks are managed
  6. Provide informed advice on appropriate control measures for aviation hazards in workplace and the community


  • Critical reflections (1800 words - 10 x 180 words) (30%)
  • Infographic (180 words, plus graphics) (15%)
  • Audiovisual presentation (7 minutes) (25%)
  • Letter to management (1800 words) (30%)

Workload requirements

6 hours of teacher-directed learning activities per week, and 6 hours of self-directed study per week, plus 2 on-campus Block Days.

See also Unit timetable information