The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) and Air Medical Operators Association (AMOA) have requested relief for their members in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AMAO Executive Director, Sally Veith asked for relief from regulatory time restrictions for air medical operators, pilots and mechanics from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Over 90% of air medical transports in the United States are operated by AMOA, utilising a fleet of more than 1,100 air medical aircraft. Veith commented, “Transporting sick patients to a higher level of care is what we do. As the COVID-19 virus moves through our nation, we are called to continue providing lifesaving missions for those in need whether stricken by the virus or other health emergencies.”
However, the restrictions that have been issued throughout the country have impacted AAMS and AMOA services, especially on the training of air medical pilots due to a lack of FAA inspectors.
With the renewal pilot medical certificates and authorisation for mechanics in jeopardy, AMAO plans to submit a petition to exempt the regulatory requirements as without it, certificate holders would not be able to exercise the privileges of the certificates. Without them, it “may hinder air medical response capabilities during the current national health emergency,” said Veith.
AAMS have requested aiding with tax and funding to support its members facing this challenge. The company’s President and CEO commented, “Our AAMS memners are working diligently on the front lines to provide critical care in communities around the world and to ensure the transportation needs of our patients can and will continue to be met.”