CA Pub Util Code Section 21662.4


Emergency aircraft flights for medical purposes by law enforcement, firefighting, military, or other persons who provide emergency flights for medical purposes are exempt from local ordinances adopted by a city, county, or city and county, whether general law or chartered, that restrict flight departures and arrivals to particular hours of the day or night, that restrict the departure or arrival of aircraft based upon the aircraft’s noise level, or that restrict the operation of certain types of aircraft.


As used in this section, “emergency aircraft flights for medical purposes” are those flights in which undue delay would threaten a patient’s life. “Emergency aircraft flights for medical purposes” include, but are not limited to, flights for the transportation of any of the following:


Patients accompanied by licensed or certificated medical attendants such as paramedics, nurses, physicians, and respiratory therapists.


Surgical transplant teams for the purpose of procuring human organs for reimplantation in recipients.


Organ procurement agency coordinators responding to a potential donor.


Temporarily viable human organs such as a heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, and pancreas, and human tissue, blood, or blood components.


Human tissue and blood samples for clinical testing to determine compatibility between a donor and a recipient.


Mechanical adjuncts or biological replacements for human organs.


Medical equipment and supplies.


Aircraft or equipment used during a medical emergency, or emergency personnel and first responders involved in treating the medical emergency, for the purpose of returning to its base of operation. “Emergency aircraft flights for medical purposes” do not include the transportation of medical personnel to attend seminars, conferences, or speaking appearances in which undue delay would not jeopardize any patient’s medical condition.


(1)Written information concerning the emergency shall be submitted to the airport proprietor for all emergency aircraft flights within 72 hours prior or subsequent to the departure or arrival of the aircraft. For all emergency aircraft flights for medical purposes, the information shall include the patient’s name and address, the names of medical attendants or personnel and the discipline in which they are licensed or hold a certificate to practice, a signed statement by the attending physician specifying that a medical emergency was involved, the requesting medical facility or agency, the intended destination, the type and registration number of the aircraft, and the names of all flight crew members, provided that the disclosure is authorized by and made in a manner consistent with the standards with respect to the privacy of individually identifiable health information of Title II (commencing with Section 200) of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-191), the regulations issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to that act (45 C.F.R. Pts. 160 and 164), and the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (Part 2.6 (commencing with Section 56) of Division 1 of the Civil Code).


This subdivision does not apply to emergency aircraft flights for medical purposes by law enforcement, firefighting, or military personnel.


Any airport that incurs additional expenses in order to accommodate the arrival or departure of emergency aircraft flights for medical purposes may charge the patient on whose behalf the flight is made, or any organization or entity which has volunteered to reimburse the airport, for those expenses.


For emergency aircraft flights for medical purposes, when two airports are located in the same geographical area, and one of the airports is a “closed” or restricted airport, the Legislature encourages the use of the “open” or unrestricted airport when feasible, rather than using the “closed” or restricted airport.


When leasing aircraft for flights for emergency medical purposes, the Legislature encourages the use, when feasible, of aircraft which comply with local noise ordinances.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 21662.4’s source at ca​.gov