The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and its food allergy division, Kids with Food Allergies (KFA), have been advocating for stock epinephrine auto-injectors on airplanes for several years. It’s important for people with food allergies to have easy access to epinephrine in case of a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis [anna-fih-LACK-sis] while in the air.
You can help us advocate for epinephrine auto-injectors on planes by asking your representative to co-sign a bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter -a letter urging a lawmaker on a key committee to support a specific action - using our simple tool at the bottom of this blog post. This letter is being sent around the House of Representatives by Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and David Valadao (R-CA). The deadline for representatives to sign the letter is close of business on June 12, 2023.
Currently, planes stock epinephrine in glass vials with hypodermic needles in medical kits that are locked in the cockpit. But auto-injectors offer a much easier way for anyone to administer the medicine, especially in close quarters such as on an airplane. This issue was recently highlighted in the news by a doctor’s experience with anaphylaxis on a flight.
This important and timely letter is addressed to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. They oversee the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As early as next week, this committee will begin considering legislation to reauthorize U.S. aviation programs administered by the FAA.
What Is a Dear Colleague Letter?
A “Dear Colleague” letter is an official letter written by members of Congress. They use it ask other members of Congress to support, cosponsor, or to oppose a certain bill or issue.
Specifically, this letter calls on the committee to include in the FAA legislation “necessary, commonsense language to require epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) in aircraft emergency medical kits (EMKs), which will prevent entirely avoidable in-flight health emergencies.”
AAFA was pleased to work with the office of Rep. Houlahan on the language, strategy, and circulation of this important letter.
Contact your representative right away using our simple tool below.