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Public Statements

FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WOODALL. My amendment supports a longstanding FAA regulation of medical charter flight services under part 135. There's been a lot of focus on fatigue and pilot rest and duties. I certainly understand that on the passenger side of the equation, but these medical charter flights fall into a little different category.

If you chartered a flight to fly down and pick up a heart for a heart transplant, the lifesaving thing to do is to actually keep that flight coming back, not to delay it with additional rest and regulations. Because of the unique circumstances that these air ambulances are in, that these medical charter flights are in--and we even expanded it to include cargo because in this increasingly regulatory environment I didn't want there to be any confusion that if we had a heart on a plane, that was somehow not a medical ambulance flight because there was no person there to prevent the FAA from re-regulating this area in the same way that they have regulated passenger charter flights.

This has long been treated under a special part of the regs for a special reason because these air ambulance flights provide a critical addition to our health care delivery system in this country and because the flights that they are involved in are genuinely a matter of life and death.

With that, I would ask my colleagues to support this protection of the current regulatory structure of these medical charter flights and prevent the reinterpretation of that structure.


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