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Geisinger Life Flight obtains FAA air carrier certificate


CONTACT: Matthew Van Stone: 570-808-3248
Dec. 10, 2012

DANVILLE, Pa. – After an extensive two-year application and development process, Geisinger Life Flight has been awarded an air carrier certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The air carrier certificate will allow Geisinger Health System (GHS) to directly operate the aircraft assets it leases and owns. In addition, GHS will directly employ its own pilots, mechanics and aviation support personnel – a process previously done through contracted air-services vendors. 

“The internal structure of the program will be very different,” said Jerry Splitt, Geisinger Life Flight program manager. “Employees in key aviation leadership positions, including a director of aviation operations, chief pilot and director of aviation maintenance, will be on site working exclusively for Life Flight every day. These leaders will work very closely with local FAA officials in Harrisburg who will provide regulatory oversight of the program.” 

Since the inception of Life Flight in 1981, the program has operated under contracted air carrier certificates, most recently La.-based Era Med, LLC, which operates a satellite support facility in Coatesville, Pa. The move toward the Life Flight air carrier certificate demonstrates Geisinger’s ownership and investment in the critical care air transport program.

“The new internal structure will not affect or disrupt service to patients or healthcare professionals and will only further enhance the program to provide the best service to those in need,” said Splitt.

Averaging 2,600 flights per year, Life Flight operates 24-hours a day with a fleet of six helicopters from air bases in Danville, State College, Avoca, Williamsport and Minersville. Each twin-engine helicopter is equipped with auto-pilot navigation and night vision equipment to ensure a safe flight day and night.

















From left: Jerry Splitt, Life Flight Program Manager; Wayne O'Connor, Chief Pilot; Jeff Gazey, Director of Maintenance; and Richard Smith, Director of Operations with Eric Manchon, Rick Thomas, Frank Gurish and Ron Forysth from the FAA.

About Geisinger Health System
Geisinger Health System is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development of innovative care models such as ProvenHealth Navigator® and ProvenCare®. As the nation’s largest rural health services organization, Geisinger serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 44 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The physician-led system is comprised of more than 17,000 employees, including a 900-member multi-specialty group practice, six hospital campuses, two research centers and a 290,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $5.5 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania economy. The health system and the health plan have repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit  Geisinger. Follow the latest Geisinger news and more at Twitter and  Facebook.

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