General aviation plays a vital role in supporting law enforcement and medical service operations throughout the United States.
General aviation aircraft allow law enforcement officers the ability to extend their field of vision, assist those on the ground with alerts to dangers that may otherwise go unseen, conduct traffic enforcement, DUI monitoring, and, and help with search and rescue.
By far the most important attribute of these aircraft for law enforcement is their coverage range. Aircraft can cover large distances quickly in comparison to traditional law enforcement ground units, and help with security and fire fighting missions.
General aviation aircraft are crucial to everyday law enforcement operations, supportingvital services for communities, responding quickly to emergency threats and ensuring the safety of both responding officers and the general public.
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Throughout the United States, emergency medical services utilize helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to provide vital services to the general public. In 2010, the Atlas & Database of Air Medical Services (ADAMS) of the Association of Air Medical Services reported that there were 306 medical service operators operating 900 helicopters and 311 airplanes. Each year, 1 out of 1,000 people in the United States requires air medical services. When dispatched at the same time as ground EMS, the response capabilities of helicopters allows over 54% of the United States population access to a full-service trauma center within 60 minutes.
Helicopter air ambulances are typically used to transport patients from the scene of an injury directly to hospitals and trauma centers. Airplanes are also often used when patients need to travel a longer distance to receive special services and in rural areas.. Air-medical transport provides a higher level of medical care for the patient en-route, and optimizes the critical care patients receive from the start of their emergency through treatment at a medical facility.
Air medical services also provide a vital services to rural communities, bringing patients to specialty critical care without delay, which is becoming more crucial as rural communities have continued to find themselves cut-off from vital emergency care due to recent changes to the nation’s healthcare delivery system.
According to the Atlas and Database of Air Medical Services, between September 2010 and September 2011, the total number of bases with rotor wing aircraft increased from 731 to 764, with the number of aircraft also increasing from 900-929.  Within the same time period, the number of bases with fixed-wing services also increased, from 165 to 173.
Learn about the impact of general aviation on local economies and communities, and how it drives over 1.2 million jobs and billions in economic activity.
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