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Saving Organs One Flight at a Time Act Stakeholder Sign On Letter

October 30, 2023

The Honorable Beth Van Duyne

United States House of Representatives

1725 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative Van Duyne,

As stakeholders in the organ donation and transplantation community, we thank you for your leadership in introducing the Saving Organs One Flight at a Time Act (H.R. 4362). This legislation advances our shared goal of ensuring the safe and timely transport of organs through the nation’s commercial air systems for the benefit of patients in need of a lifesaving transplant.

Prior to the attacks on September 11, donor organs intended for transplant traveled above wing on commercial flights. Transplant professionals delivered organs, mostly kidneys, through security to and from aircraft. Airport protocols changed after the September 11 attack, which prevented transplant professionals from accompanying organs directly to flight gates. Organs were relegated as cargo and are still transported as such today.

Treating organs as cargo prevents organs from being transported when needed. Organs transported as cargo typically must arrive at an airport 60 to 120 minutes prior to a flight’s departure. If the organ arrives too close to the flight time, it cannot be transported on the intended flight. Additionally, cargo offices do not have uniform operating hours; instead, they vary by airport and airline. If an organ arrives t its destination when the cargo office is closed, couriers cannot retrieve the lifesaving organ. While these occurrences are uncommon, they are completely avoidable.

Your bill’s rulemaking directive to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will ensure protocols are modernized to reduce the damage and delay of donor organs.

Thank you again for your commitment to improving the nation’s organ donation and transplantation system.


American Association of Kidney Patients

American Foundation for Donation & Transplantation

American Kidney Fund

American Liver Foundation

Association of Organ Procurement Organizations

American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics

American Society of Nephrology

American Society of Transplantation

American Society of Transplant Surgeons

Donate Life Virginia

Kidney Care Partners

Kidney Transplant Collaborative

North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO)

National Kidney Foundation

Nationwide Organ Recovery Transport Alliance

Organ Donation Advocacy Group

Renal Physicians Association

Transplant Families

Transplant Recipients International Organization

Transplant Unwrapped

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)

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