June 26, 2012- The FAA has ordered airlines to restore oxygen into the restrooms of their aircraft. The decision reversed last year’s decision to allow them to be removed because of the fear terrorists might use them to start fires in the aircraft during a flight.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced on Monday that it was restoring oxygen over the next 36 months that will eliminate another hazard that could cause flight safety problems. The rule change pertains to over 5,500 planes and will cost the airlines over $44.2 million to make the necessary changes to comply with the regulation.
Oxygen systems that are supplemental on planes commonly use chemical reactions to help produce the oxygen for the masks, which are available to passengers if the plane ends up losing cabin pressure. The new regulation was posted online by the FAA and will be published on Tuesday in the Federal Register.
Back in February of 2011, the FAA told airlines to remove or drain their fleets’ oxygen systems. The following month, the FAA disclosed the order. The FAA said it was contrary to the public safety to notify the public about the system changes before they took place, as it could tip a terrorist off about another method to use oxygen as a form of attack.