SARS-CoV-2 aerosol risk models for the Airplane Seating Assignment Problem

J A Pavlik, I G Ludden, S H Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between passengers on airplanes is a significant concern and reducing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 or other viruses aboard aircraft could save lives. Solving the Airplane Seating Assignment Problem (ASAP) produces seating arrangements that minimize transmission risks between passengers aboard an aircraft, but the chosen risk model affects the optimal seating arrangement. We analyze previous risk models and introduce two new risk models, masked and unmasked, based on previous experiments performed aboard real aircraft to test aerosol dispersion of SARS-CoV-2 sized particles. We make recommendations on when each risk model is applicable and the types of seating arrangements that are optimal for each risk model.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102175
JournalJournal of Air Transport Management
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Public health
  • Discrete optimization
  • COVID-19
  • Air travel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Transportation
  • Strategy and Management


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