(WASHINGTON) -- The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to propose new rules Thursday that will boost helicopter safety, especially the safety of medical helicopters that transport the injured to hospitals.
EMS helicopters play a vital role in saving lives by flying seriously wounded crash victims to nearby trauma centers. But this year alone, there have been six accidents which have resulted in the death of 16 people onboard the choppers. The National Transportation Safety Board has long called for tougher safety regulations, and the FAA plans to enforce just that.
An industry source says it's likely the agency will require new equipment to warn pilots if they are too close to the ground, as well as better pilot training.
Industry insiders say this will be a good first step, but much more will be needed to ensure that trying to save a life doesn't cost one.
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio