Senate FAA Bill Calls for Major Changes for Helo EMS

 - August 28, 2009, 6:54 AM

Comprehensive changes for the helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) industry are contained in the U.S. Senate’s proposed FAA authorization legislation. Under the bill, HEMS operators would be required to comply with Part 135 for all flights; however, destination weather reporting would apply only after the FAA determined that reliable and portable technology was available. The bill would also require HEMS operators to report numbers of aircraft, registration numbers of each aircraft, base location of each aircraft, numbers of flights and flight hours, and the purpose of each flight. It would require the FAA to initiate rulemaking leading to a standardized risk evaluation/mission acceptance checklist and mandate the installation of devices that perform TAWS functions and record voice communications and flight data.