PALS Launches Fuel Reimbursement Program For Pilots
Mon, Apr 16, 2012 4:28 PM
Farmingdale, New York (April 11, 2012). Patient AirLift Services (PALS), the fastest-growing charitable air transportation service in the country, has officially started to reimburse volunteer pilots for the fuel costs related to charitable flights. PALS pilot, Greg Zieba, flew the first reimbursed flight from Farmingdale to Virginia. Under this new PALS program, approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, pilots can receive reimbursement for fuel costs incurred when flying patients in need of medical treatment during charitable missions. Prior to this program, PALS volunteer pilots were responsible for covering all costs associated with charitable missions, including fuel, which has recently risen dramatically in price and become a major factor in the operating cost per flight.
In June of last year, the FAA granted an exception to PALS to allow fuel cost reimbursement. The directive from Melvin Cintron, the FAA’s Acting Deputy Director of Flights Standards Service, states that: “a grant of exemption is in the best public interest.” The letter also supported the change, stating that the “FAA found that humanitarian efforts of these pilots who volunteer their time and piloting services are commendable, and the FAA wants to encourage this kind of volunteerism and public service for the common good of our citizens.”
Pilot Greg Zieba applauded the new guidelines, “I am happy to use my piloting skills to help others. However, the high costs of maintaining a plane and the added fuel expense for flying has made it difficult to commit to many charitable flights.” He went on to say that while the reimbursement program does not cover all fuel costs, “The significant reduction allowed through the program has made it more manageable for me financially.”
“This is a major initiative for PALS,” said PALS Chairman Joseph Howley. “There is a great need for our services among patients who have limited financial resources and are receiving treatment for an acute or chronic illness that make it either financially impossible or impracticable to use commercial or private air travel. The benefit to both PALS and the patients it serves is that pilots, who are limited to the number of missions they could afford to fly due to costs of fuel, will now be able to participate in a greater number of volunteer missions.”
Patient AirLift Services
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