FAA Proposes Stricter Rules on Helicopter Air Ambulance Operations
October 7, 2010 — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today (October 7) proposed broad new rules for helicopter operators, including air ambulances, which, if finalized, would require stricter flight rules and procedures, improved communications and training, and additional on-board safety equipment.
“This is a significant proposal that will improve the safety of many helicopter flights in the United States,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “The FAA’s initiatives have helped the helicopter industry make progress on many safety issues, but it’s time to take steps toward mandating these major safety improvements.”
Under the proposed rules, operators would use the latest on-board technology and equipment to avoid terrain and obstacles. The proposal also contains provisions which, if finalized, would require operators to use enhanced procedures for flying in challenging weather, at night, and when landing in remote locations.