Mumbai-Pune expressway to get air ambulances for medical emergencies
In the wake of increasing number of road fatalities across the country, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has approved plans for allowing helicopters to carry out medical evacuations by landing near accident sites.
India, a signatory to the Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety, is aiming at reducing the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50 percent by the year 2020. In the light of the same, the DGCA cleared a phased plan for the implementation of helicopter ambulances.
In the first phase, ambulances will carry the patients to pre-designated spots from where helicopters will transport the victim to hospitals. In the second phase, helicopters will be allowed to land anywhere near the site of accident and rush victims to hospitals directly.
Each helicopter will have trained pilots, technical crew and medical officers along with the the same live support equipment found in regular ambulances. The aviation body will choose a suitable operator for the service, who will have to bear the cost of running a 24/7 call center for such emergencies and employ a fleet of helicopters.
In a bid to reach out to the accident victims in the least possible time, helicopters will be permitted to fly without prior ATC clearance under 5000 feet.
The country’s most accident prone highways like the Mumbai-Pune expressway, Ahmedabad-Baroda expressway and Yamuna Expressway will be the first one’s to avail the air ambulance facility.