The EFA Oxygen Harmonization Project is brand new for launch in 2012 and focuses on the inequalities which exist in relation to the availability of oxygen during travel on commercial airlines. The project exists as a parallel action working with MEP Keith Taylor, who has requested an own-initiative report (OIR) in the Transportation and Tourism (TRAN) Committee of the European Parliament on “The functioning and application of established rights of people traveling by air.”
At the present, airlines are competitors who use oxygen as a commodity for profit, making air travel a luxury for patients in need of oxygen, as it can at times require a similar fee to the original price of the ticket.The project is to work on the harmonization of conditions for patients with respiratory illness and a need for oxygen during travel, making oxygen available at all times and free of charge to people in need on airlines.
EFA believes that airlines should complement the needed oxygen with the patients’ own supply free of charge for flights where more than one tank is necessary and that airlines should additionally offer transport of the additional tanks free of charge. As a long term objective, EFA envisions the creation of oxygen tank refill stations at major airports, much like those already existing in the Zurich Train Station.
Patients’ story booklet to the European Commission, ICAO and EASA
In order to clearly demonstrate the need for a harmonization of different practices among airlines, EFA is preparing a booklet with patients’ stories from all around Europe. The report booklet will include EFA’s position together with testimonies from patients with respiratory problems gathered through EFA’s member organisations around Europe. The patients’ stories will be about their need to travel by airplane with oxygen and any troubles they have faced with different rules and procedures of different airlines. The booklet will be presented to the European Commission, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). This will stress the need to harmonize those rules and enable the travel of patients who need to use oxygen during flights.
Anyone who wishes to submit his own story is encouraged to send it to David Brennan at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to use the available outline for writing down your story by downloading the English version here or the available version in Spanish here). The first 20 story senders will be awarded with a small gift to encourage patients to share their experience and expedite the sharing of stories.
So, no reason to wait… Send your story now and win one of the 20 EFA gifts!
Questions from patients to EASA
As a result of the inequalities in rules among different commercial airlines, patients who wish to travel, always come up with a series of questions regarding their possibilities to use oxygen with safety for their health and their trip. In the framework of Oxygen Harmonization Project, EFA is collecting questions from patients that will be addressed to the European stakeholders influencing safety guidelines with the aim of further demonstrating the need for harmonization of the oxygen use on board of aircraft in Europe.