FAA inflates travel O2 options

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) OK'd four more portable oxygen concentrators for air travel Jan. 6, bringing the total of approved units to 11.

The newly authorized POCs are DeVilbiss Healthcare's iGo, International Biophysics Corporation's LifeChoice, Inogen's  One G2 and Oxlife's Independence Oxygen Concentrator.

"This is our latest step toward making air travel more accessible for people who need medical oxygen," stated FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "We want these passengers to have as many options as possible while ensuring all of our safety guidelines are being met."

 On July 12, 2005, the FAA issued a rule that allowed--but did not require--airlines to let patients use "certain portable oxygen concentrator devices" aboard aircraft. Since then, most major airlines have given POCs the thumbs up.

POCs approved previously for air travel by the FAA include AirSep's LifeStyle and FreeStyle; Inogen's Inogen One; SeQual Technologies' Eclipse; Philips Respironics' EverGo; Delphi Medical Systems' RS-00400; and Invacare Corporation's XPO2.

In approving the new POCs, the FAA stated that it still intends to develop a performance-based standard for all future POC devices but wants to ensure that such a standard does not stifle innovative technologies.

"This process is time-consuming and we intend to publish a notice in the Federal Register and offer the public a chance to comment on the proposal when it is complete," the FAA stated.