AOPA is backing legislation that would extend liability protection to volunteers involved in aerial search and rescue operations. The bill, currently before the Washington state legislature, would enhance a 2007 law that offers immunity from liability for certain volunteer workers when engaged in emergency management activities. That law protected only volunteers under the direction of a local emergency management organization or the state military department. Volunteer aerial search and rescue personnel working for Washington Air Search and Rescue under the Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division were not specifically covered. “These volunteer pilots and crews put their own lives on the line to save others, and they deserve protection,” said AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Greg Pecoraro.
February 22, 2008