• The Safest Operating Environment Possible

Health & Safety

The Safest Operating Environment Possible

Oct 29 2007

The LifeFlight Foundation has embarked on an ambitious plan to assure the safest operating environment possible for emergency air medical operations. The Foundation has contracted with Belfort Instrument (USA) for the purchase and installation of seven DigiWx II Automated Weather Observation Systems (AWOS) at seven locations throughout the State of Maine.

The Belfort DigiWx II is an automated weather system reporting FAA certified altimeter and FAA certified visibility with advisory winds, temperature and humidity and Cloud Height (Ceilometer) The real time report is available on a computer graphic screen, on the Internet, and over the Unicom radio as well as telephone dial-in. The DigiWx II is approved for FAA Part 91 and FAA Part 135 IFR approaches and is specifically designed for General Aviation airports and Heliports. The Foundation is installing a GPS approaches and will use the DigiWx II to support their EMS flight operations.

The new state of the art Belfort systems will improve general aviation safety by improving the weather reporting network in rural areas. “These new systems will serve seven municipal airports in rural Maine. While the new stations will aid us in saving lives, they will benefit all of our pilot colleagues, as well as helicopter and fixed wing operations of the Department of Conservation, the Army’s 112 th Air Medical Groups downeast training area, and the U.S. Border Patrol,” said Dennis Small, EraMED Lead Pilot and Site Manager for LifeFlight of Maine.

Over the past four years, in a joint effort with the Department of Public Safety, the LifeFlight Foundation has funded numerous hospital helipad and airport improvement projects including installation of over the road fuel systems to serve remote hospitals, instrument approaches, and the installation of new AWOS stations at rural airports.
“After a thorough evaluation process, we are pleased to be working with Belfort Instruments as a partner in implementing cost effective AWOS systems in western, northern, and downeast Maine. Our partnership with our contractors Belfort Instruments and Satellite Technologies Incorporated will quite literally lead to an additional 78 lives saved in Maine each year while making the entire aviation operating environment safer for everyone depending on access to weather,” noted Thomas Judge, Executive Director of LifeFlight of Maine.

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