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Aviation: Disabled

Volume 495: debated on Monday 29 June 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 5 May 2009, Official Report, column 21W, on aviation: disabled, if he will seek discussions with the European Commission to reduce or end restrictions and extra charges by airlines on passengers who require supplementary oxygen. (281317)

European Regulation 1107/2006 on the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air does not impose specific obligations to carry or provide oxygen in the cabin. The Department for Transport has raised the issue of carriage of medical oxygen with the European Commission at a recent meeting of national enforcement bodies for Regulation 1107/2006.

The Commission is due to review the regulation in 2010. To help the air transport industry to comply with its obligations under the regulation, the Department has published an updated version of its code of practice ‘Access to Air Travel for Disabled Persons and Persons with Reduced Mobility’. The code includes a section on oxygen which advises that air carriers may approve the carriage of small gaseous oxygen or air cylinders required for medical use, but notes that carriers will wish to ensure that these do not pose a risk to security. The code also recommends that portable oxygen concentrator devices should normally be allowed if battery powered. Where air carriers wish to supply medical oxygen to passengers on request, the code acknowledges that it would be possible to make a charge for this service to cover the provision of the oxygen.