Aerox Aviation Oxygen Systems has acquired the aviation oxygen assets of Sky-Ox, it was announced Tuesday.
“The acquisition gives Aerox additional breadth to its line of portable oxygen systems for cargo, commercial, and business and general aviation users and supplemental type certificates for installed oxygen systems for a range of general aviation aircraft models,” Aerox said in a statement.
Aerox will relocate the current Sky-Ox facility to the Aerox headquarters in Bonita Springs, Florida. According to Aerox president Scott Ashton, the value Aerox derives from this acquisition comes from the multiple legacy STCs for installed oxygen systems that Sky-Ox holds.
It will also consolidate two of the major suppliers of aviation oxygen systems, who both began business in the 1980s.
“We intend to update these STCs with more modern hardware and expand them to additional aircraft types to give aircraft owners a wider range of options,” Ashton said.
Additionally, Aerox customers will now have more options for oxygen systems for their aircraft, leveraging Sky-Ox’s 40-plus years of providing said service for the industry.
What Aerox Gets
Sky-Ox is well-known for its “Click-a-Breath” portable oxygen systems that require no adjustments other than to set the desired altitude on the top of the regulator to provide an FAA-compliant dosage of oxygen. Unlike most other options, Sky-Ox aviation oxygen systems don’t require a bulky flow meter in each line. The Sky-Ox portable oxygen systems have adjustable-flow regulators, giving pilots the exclusive ability to control oxygen for themselves and passengers as they can monitor the duration of an oxygen cylinder.
In 2020, Aerox Aviation Oxygen Systems was purchased by O2 Aero Acquisitions, an investment holding company led by Ashton, who is also the company’s managing director. Aerox has provided the aviation industry with solutions for ensuring pilot wellness, alertness, and safety since 1981. The company’s focus includes OEM- and STC-installed oxygen systems, TSO-approved oxygen masks, PMA oxygen cylinders, and portable oxygen solutions. Its newest oxygen system product, the Lighter than Air Walkaround Portable Oxygen kit, has been selected for several airline cargo conversions.
For Ashton, an aerospace engineer, active flight instructor, and FAAST team representative for the FAA, one of his goals when he acquired Aerox, as he told FLYING, was to “democratize oxygen,” making it more accessible to pilots. Ashton said the basic regulatory requirements for supplemental oxygen in unpressurized aircraft leave pilots vulnerable to hypoxia and degraded performances, but the sentiment is changing.
“People are becoming much more aware of the effects of hypoxia. You used to talk to pilots who’d say, ‘I can fly at 14,000 feet, and it doesn’t bother me, but now they realize that it does.”
Instead, drawing on his experience as FAAST Team rep, Ashton is making the case to pilots that they should opt to use supplemental oxygen at a much lower level—as low as 8,000 ft.
“In terms of pilot wellness, it’s the easiest thing you can do. When you land, you’re not tired, you don’t have a headache, and your alert.”
With the Sky-Ox deal, Ashton said the key to getting more pilots to opt for supplemental oxygen is Aerox’s focus on “simplicity, quality, and performance.”