FAA Renewing Mandate for O2 Concentrator Physician Statements

The agency’s notice estimates 1,735,000 passengers bring a portable oxygen concentrator aboard a commercial aircraft. All of them must carry a signed physician statement explaining the oxygen therapy they need.

The Federal Aviation Administration has filed a routine request to renew the requirement that all passengers carrying a portable oxygen concentrator onto a commercial flight bring with them a signed physician statement explaining the oxygen therapy they need during the flight.

The request to OMB is necessary because the requirement qualifies as an information collection, even though no FAA form is involved. A Special Federal Aviation Regulation requires that pilots in command be alerted when a passenger whose physician’s statement prescribes extensive use of oxygen bring a POC aboard.

According to the notice, the information provided to the pilot is used to determine whether an in-flight diversion to an airport where medical assistance for the passenger may be needed if the passenger's POC fails to operate or the aircraft experiences cabin pressurization difficulties. The physician statement is used by the airline to verify the need for the device, the oxygen therapy needed to be provided by use of the POC, and the oxygen needs of the passenger in case of emergency.

The notice estimates 1,735,000 passengers per year bring a POC aboard a commercial aircraft. Comments on the information collection may be submitted until Nov. 22 by mail to: Ms. Carla Scott, Room 336, Federal Aviation Administration, AES-300, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20024.

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