Disinsection is permitted under international law in order to protect public health, agriculture and the environment. The World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization stipulate two approaches for aircraft disinsection--either spray the aircraft cabin, with an aerosolized insecticide, while passengers are on board or treat the aircraft's interior surfaces with a residual insecticide (residual method) while passengers are not on board. Panama and American Samoa have adopted a third method, in which aircraft are sprayed with an aerosolized insecticide while passengers are not on board.
Although the Report of the Informal Consultation on Aircraft Disinsection sponsored by the World Health Organization (November 6-10, 1995) concluded that aircraft disinsection, if performed appropriately, would not present a risk to human health, the report also noted that some individuals may experience transient discomfort following aircraft disinsection by aerosol application.
Although few countries now require that aircraft be disinsected, most countries reserve the right to do so, and, as such, could impose a disinsection requirement should they perceive a threat to their public health, agriculture or environment. Accordingly, travelers are advised to check with their travel agent or airline reservations agent when booking flights. Listed below are representatives of airlines who are knowledgeable on disinsection requirements.
Airline Contacts for Information on Disinsection
Ms. Teresa Buschmann
Mr. Steve Tochilin
Mr. Adam Walters
Ms. Alissa Markert
Mr. Tony Parente
The following lists of disinsection requirements were compiled from information provided by foreign governments and supplemented by information obtained from airlines.
Countries requiring the disinsection of all in-bound flights with an aerosolized spray while passengers are on board:
- Ecuador (only Galapagos and Interislands)
- Trinidad and Tobago
Countries requiring the disinsection of all in-bound flights but allowing, as an alternative to the above approach, either (a) the residual method or (b) the application of an aerosolized spray while passengers are not on board.
Countries that require disinsection of selected flights:
Areas of contagious diseases
Areas of malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever
Generally, flights coming from African continent, Asia and sub regions, the Middle East and islands of the Indian Ocean, and flights coming from any other country where mosquito borne diseases are prevalent.
Areas of malaria or yellow fever