It is back to the future. The Crystal Cabin Awards is the world's premier event for excellence in aircraft cabin design.

The winners of the final round of the competition will be announced at a special dinner at the leading global aviation trade fair in June 2022.

New cabin concepts, innovative sustainable technologies, next-generation passenger comfort and innovative safety features are included in eight categories.

Cabin Concepts

The Crystal Cabin Awards are the focus of intense media activity, including reporting outside the industry press. The Cabin Concepts category requires entries to show innovation in designing interior spaces that use the space in intriguing ways.

AirLounge is one of the year's most widely discussed entries and was submitted by Collins Aerospace. A new business class seat for Finnair has a shell design that provides passengers with more living space and privacy, while also giving them more flexibility to sit and sleep in a variety of positions.

A women in a brown outfit sits in the Finnair business class seat. The seat is blue with grey accents.

The Elevate concept for premium accommodation was another entry that provoked wider media interest. The same number of seats can be fitted as traditional designs if the floating furniture is attached to wall braces.

Teague Elevate is a floating furniture concept image that is on the shortlist for Crystal Cabin Awards.

Smart Space 4 Passengers focuses on maximizing comfort options for the economy class. The seat in front of a passenger can be opened up to the side to be used as a leg rest or a storage area. This allows carriers to add an additional seat charge option if space is available in front of an occupied seat and passengers can add more comfort to their experience.

A graphic of an aircraft interior showing various people using the option to book the seat in front of them. One person has their feet up another person has a pet carrier on it. A mobile phone is blown up to show how the booking process would happen. Finalist for Crystal Cabin AwardsCabin Systems

The Cabin Systems category shows how innovation in the cabin can improve air travel in many ways: how it can better address important human needs, improve the integration of media displays and even reduce the environmental impact of the whole aircraft.

The possibility of sudden in-flight cabin decompression makes it necessary for aircraft to have large reserves of fuel. Caeli Nova says its new emergency oxygen system could save the aviation industry $500 million and 1.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year by opening direct routes over high terrain and increasing the duration that aircraft can fly at high altitudes.

Cordillera higher altitude diagram nominated for Crystal Cabin Award

Flex OLED Kit is a low-weight, wafer-thin HD display that can be placed anywhere in the cabin, including in seatbacks and ceilings for video, ambient lighting or to direct passengers through the aircraft.

Flying Disabled, PriestmanGoode, SWS Certification and Sunrise Medical are part of a group that designed Air 4 All to end limitations on flying that are experienced by passengers travelling in a powered wheelchair. The system allows travellers with reduced mobility to slot their wheelchair into a seating space by folding the seat up into the back of the seat, which is a safe and easy way to travel without being forced to move into a standard cabin seat.

The Air 4 All system onboard, showing that wheelchairs could be supported without removing seatsHealth and Safety

Safety has always been the top priority in the design of commercial aircraft. The Fire Resistant Cargo Container from Safran Cabin adds an additional layer of protection against fire. The maximum range an aircraft is permitted to fly from the nearest airport is increased thanks to the high-temperature resistant panels and unique door materials of the new device.

The vulnerability of aircraft cabins to air-communicable pathogens has been shown by the Covid-19 Pandemic. AirShield uses air-vents from existing overhead air-vents to create protective air barriers between passengers. In order to get rid of exhaled air from the aircraft, it is necessary to take it out of the cabin.

Hypergamut Light is a new cabin lighting system that helps passengers feel more comfortable during and after their flight. The architecture of the system is compatible with human rhythms and helps passengers relax even when the lights are on. The blue light is added back in prior to arrival to help passengers arrive alert, all without affecting the quality or appearance of the light. The system adjusts lighting to the flightpath, time of day, and global positioning.

A blue light runs down the top of the aircraft cabin while a brighter light is seen coming from the panels above the seats. Passenger Comfort

Premium economy seating is one of the most heated arenas. ZIMprivacy seat increases passenger comfort while also giving more living space and a heightened sense of personal enclosure. There is a recline system in the fixed seat back. It's easier to maintain a mechanical assembly than a powered one.

Jamco Corporation and NTT sonority Inc. have collaborated to create the Personalized Sound Zone, a system that creates a spherical audio area around the passenger's head. The system uses wave cancellation to create a sound stage around the passenger.

A computer generated image showing a business class seat mock of of an aircraft. A clear figure is seated with a bubble around its head to reflect the Personalized Sound Zone (psz) by Jamco.

Previously not possible using traditional air-cooling technologies, Collins' SpaceChiller offers personal refrigeration for individual passengers or larger parts of the aircraft cabins. The system requires half the power of traditional designs and provides the luxury of cooled snacks for passengers.

Collins Aerospace Spacechiller shows a variety of beverages stored in it next to the aircraft seat.

IFEC & Digital Services

Passengers who have become used to fast internet access wherever they travel are becoming concerned about digital connectivity. Dedicated Space is a new system that promises a five-fold increase in available personal bandwidth and a dramatic reduction in latency. Faster downloads and uploads are promised by the new system.

IFE is an area where passengers have come to expect less from in-flight systems than from entertainment equipment in their home. End-to-end 4K video quality has been brought to aircraft by the cooperation of the two companies. The first QLED IFE display provides better resolution, colour fidelity and dynamics range, while offering better maintainability for operators.

ACJ Smart Lifi Monitor combines a powerful display with mobile processing power to put the customer at the center of the device. The system pairs with customers' personal digital devices which can be used as a remote control. The Smart Lifi Monitor offers a wide range of digital services and functions for aircraft passengers.

A person is holding up their tablet in an ACJ showing it linking to the IFE screen in the cabin.

Material & Components

The subjective cabin experience depends on the quality of materials and components. The pulse power supply unit is slim, low-weight and has a dynamic power allocation that lets passengers charge their devices on-wing.

One of the major concerns addressed by the Smart Lock Door is low power anxiety, and it allows crew to use digital devices behind a screen mounted in a locked door to keep their tablets safe from theft.

The CabinSHINE maintenance process is designed to make repairing fixture and furniture up to eight times cheaper and nine times faster than using conventional methods. Offering repair options for a range of cabin surface materials and imitation surfaces, the process helps avoid replacing superficially damaged aircraft furniture by quickly repairing surface blemishes during short overhaul stops.

3 chairs with red and white fabric coverings are seated at a table in an brightly lit aircraft.

Sustainable Cabin

The central issue of any public discussion about aviation is sustainable. Creative submissions that seek to reduce aviation's ecological footprint have become a hot topic in the sustainable cabin category.

It is difficult to lower ecological footprint by recycling cabin plastics. Swedish manufacturer Diab has pioneered a process to produce 100% recyclable panels for cabin interiors, in cooperation with AkzoNobel, Rescoll and Roctool. The process is quicker than using films, with the sheets welded directly to the foam core offering improved acoustic insulation for the finished material.

The sustainable genuine leather, which uses a tanning process based on vegetable oils instead of chrome and gasoline-based chemicals, has no compromises on quality.

The impact of hidden materials from passenger view can be large. AeroFLAX uses natural fibres and a bio-based resin system instead of glass fibre to save CO2 during the manufacturing process and also as a by-product of weight reduction.

A grey aircraft interior is decorated with a flower and bamboo decal over the windows.University

The University category has a clean sheet approach to a range of issues and situations. Carlos Gatti, a student at Wichita State University, came up with a novel way of accommodating wheelchair passengers. The Fly Your Wheels replaces the front left closet on aircraft with a multi-purpose module that can be used as a safe parking Suite for a wheelchair user during a flight. The idea is to allow airlines to add one paying passenger instead of taking away existing seating.

The Shift Cabin Interior was designed by the University of Reutlingen and allows operators to change seats in multiple positions for work or relaxation. The concept allows airlines to fit more seats into the same space.

 Jiayi Yu from the University of Reutlingen designed the Shift Cabin Interior pictured here. All seats are angled in a zigzag pattern and put in the lay flat position.

Ken Kirtland of the Georgia Institute of Technology wants to create an electric short-haul airline based around an innovative aircraft that emphasizes a calmer flight experience at slower speeds and fantastic views.

A set of high back chairs are positioned throughout the interior of a cabin.

The Innovations of the Year: Presented in Hamburg on 14 June 2022

There are eight categories of the Crystal Cabin Award.


To win one of the coveted snow-white trophies, the 24 finalist have to present their ideas in person to the 27 members of the international expert jury. The winners will be announced at a prestigious Gala Dinner. The winning concepts will be presented at the Cabin Space LIVE auditorium. The Crystal Cabin Award Gallery with an overview of all the finalist will be on display at the Hamburg Pavilion.

There is support for the Crystal Cabin Award.

  • Platinum Sponsors: Etihad Aviation Group, Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Category Sponsor: Sustainable Cabin)
  • Gold Sponsors: AERQ, Airbus, AVIC Cabin Systems, The Boeing Company, Collins Aerospace, Diehl Aviation, Thales Avionics
  • Silver Sponsors: Ameco Beijing, ATR, Jetliner Cabins, Boltaron Inc. – A Simona Company to Simona Boltaron, TSI Seats
  • Online Sponsors: Sekisui Kydex
  • Crystal Cabin Award Show Partner: Aircraft Interiors Expo
  • Media Partners: Aircraft Interiors International, APEX, Flight Chic, Flightglobal, Future Travel Experience, Inflight Magazine, Runway Girl Network

The Crystal Cabin Award is related.

The Crystal Cabin Award is an international prize for innovation in the aircraft cabin. The jury made up of renowned academics, engineers, specialist journalists and airline and aircraft manufacturer representatives came together under the slogan "Let your ideas take off" to honor extraordinary cabin concepts and products. The Crystal Cabin Award Association organised the competition. Every year since 2007, this honor has been presented at the Aircraft Interiors expo. The quality of the trophies has made them known and coveted around the world.

The image was credited to the university.