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News > American Eurocopter pledges its support for the new Air Medical Operators Association in improving helicopter safety

American Eurocopter pledges its support for the new Air Medical Operators Association in improving helicopter safety

February 22, 2009

Anaheim, Heli-Expo 2009 – A new industry association that represents more than 90 percent of all U.S. emergency air medical helicopter operations is receiving American Eurocopter’s full support in the efforts to further improve flight safety for the emergency air medical services industry. American Eurocopter’s contributions to the Air Medical Operators Association (AMOA) already include providing assistance in an operations data management and analysis project, and will expand in the future to cover such areas as flight training and quality assurance.

The Alexandria, Virginia-based AMOA formally began its activities earlier this month, and the organization’s current air medical operator membership represents some 700 helicopters and nearly 400,000 airlift missions performed annually in the United States. “American Eurocopter has always been fully dedicated to ensuring and improving flight safety in our industry, and we immediately committed our resources to the AMOA because safe operations are in everyone’s interest,” said American Eurocopter President & CEO Marc Paganini. “I also encourage the other rotorcraft manufacturers to support us in assisting the AMOA in meeting its goals.”

The AMOA has 10 air medical operators that range in size from local service providers with small fleets to the industry’s largest companies whose inventories includes hundreds of helicopters.

AMOA Managing Director Christopher M. Eastlee said the organization’s initial focus is on developing positions and standards concerning key safety issues, as well as focusing on technology, training enhancements and oversight matters. Howard Ragsdale, the Director of PHI Air Medical who also serves as AMOA’s president, said American Eurocopter “was the first to step up” in providing support to the association from the manufacturer level.

“American Eurocopter already has opened its doors and immediately began sharing data, which is very important because this support comes from the leading supplier of helicopters to U.S. air medical operators,” Ragsdale said. “I also am particularly pleased that Marc Paganini has personally urged that our organization embrace all of the helicopter manufacturers, as we have a common interest in improving flight safety.” AMOA members will be meeting during this week’s HELI-EXPO 2009 industry conference and exhibition in Anaheim, California, where American Eurocopter is providing its data sharing inputs for the association.

Future area of cooperation with the AMOA and American Eurocopter will focus on various topics, including scenario-based training for flight crews – an area that American Eurocopter has taken a leadership role as the company develops its overall flight training capabilities.

“With the backing of American Eurocopter and the entire industry, we expect the AMOA will be able to bring about real change,” Ragsdale said. “Demonstrating real progress in safety is particularly important today for all of the hospitals that trust helicopter operators to fly their medical employees, for the patients they transport, and for the public at large.”

About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. subsidiary of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and the company markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter's headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS and its West Coast Regional Support Facility in Long Beach, CA.

For more information on American Eurocopter’s presence at HELI-EXPO 2009, see the related coverage from Anaheim, California:

View the Press release archive.

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