SYRACUSE The Onondaga County Sheriff's Office is now able to charge for medical transports.
Air-1's application to fly under part-135 as a commercial helicopter was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. The new license will allow the Sheriff's Office to charge for Air-1 medical transports.
Traditionally, medical transports provided by Air-1 have been free. This move is the latest by Sheriff Kevin Walsh who has been given the responsibility to raise the entirety of Air-1's budget. The county legislature defunded the helicopter for 2012, but left the helicopter in the budget, to be paid back by the Air-1 Foundation.
"This is truly a milestone today in our air aviation program," Walsh said.
Walsh said the insurance billing could bring in 30 percent of the helicopter's budget. The Sheriff's Office will has submitted a request for proposals for a billing company to bill patients and their insurance companies for the air transports. The cost of that billing company will be taken from the revenue made on insurance payments, Walsh said.