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New FAA Air Ambulance Regulations

New FAA air ambulance regulations were set to start this week, however they have now been delayed until April 2015. Still these new air ambulance regulations will be good for the industry as a whole once they are finally implemented. We at Travel Care Air welcome improvements to safety across the air ambulance industry and most of the recommended changes by the FAA will do a lot to improve the safety of passengers.

The new air ambulance regulations cover stricter flight rules and procedures as well as working to improve communications. The new air ambulance regulations will also help enhance training and provide additional on-board safety equipment on flights. Medical helicopter operators will be required to use enhanced procedures for flights in poor weather, or at night when landing in remote locations.

New Regulations Mean Better Air Ambulance Technology

Technology is the biggest advantage to these new FAA air ambulance regulations. Within three years transport companies must use the latest on-board technology and equipment. The updated equipment will help pilots avoid terrain and obstacles. Within four years an air ambulance must be equipped with flight data monitoring systems.

According to the FAA’s website, the reasons for the delay in implementing these new changes are, “In response to industry feedback and so that the FAA can develop detailed guidance materials, the FAA is extending the compliance deadline for the helicopter safety rule by one year to April 22, 2015. This will provide the industry with necessary FAA materials and adequate time to adapt their manuals and provide training to pilots.”

The FAA, in delaying the official start to the new regulations, is taking a prudent but effective approach to new industry standards. Some upgrades will still come much faster, even with the delays. Despite the delays the equipment requirements will still be three years from now, meaning the equipment requirements for an air ambulance will go into affect by April 24, 2017. Operations control centers will need to be in place by 2016 and flight data monitoring systems will be required by 2018, according to the FAA. Most of the changes are targeted at air ambulance helicopters.

The air ambulance providers at Travel Care Air continue to work to make sure our services are among the safest in the industry. We are always working with the FAA to ensure the best practices for our business as well as our clients. At Travel Care Air we take a personal and detailed approach to every flight. We welcome and encourage the FAA to continue to do what it can to help improve our industry as a whole, to ensure the safe transportation of anyone in need of an air ambulance.

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