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FAA and Air Ambulances – Weather Camera Trials


The Federal Aviation Authority of the United States undertook trials recently with air ambulances. The objective of the trial was to get a better understanding of the weather conditions based on the data collected. Ultimately, the FAA plans to release standard operating procedures based on its findings. In this context, it must be noted that weather is the biggest reason why air ambulances crash and the aviation industry is always on the lookout to make the skies safer for the passengers and the crew members. The latest effort is one among them.

What are FAA and Air Ambulances Trying to Achieve?

According to the Federal Aviation Authority, the data will be collected from those locations that are not comprehensively covered by automated surface observing systems. The federal organization is doing this through the aid of cameras fitted in the air ambulances. The hope is that, at the end of the study, a procedure can be devised, which will lead to far lesser medical flight cancellations due to bad weather conditions. Moreover, it is not just the adverse weather conditions that lead to cancellations but also ‘unknown weather conditions.’ The study will put an end to such situations to a great extent.

The Data will Help with Regulatory Compliance

The current government regulations make it mandatory to have data pertaining to prevailing weather conditions before the air ambulances take to the sky. This data is presented to the pilot who then makes a decision whether to fly. The rule is in place to ensure that the crew members remain safe. It has also been seen that the weather data before air ambulances is not always accurate. The present study strives to change this. The trials are being conducted utilizing air ambulances owned by the hospitals in Michigan and Mississippi and will run for over a year.

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