All heliski permits should be issued and administered by an independent 3rd party. This party should be unified with the top experts in the field and a government body to set the industry mandatory standards & policies.
The most respected and experienced guides input should be included for this government standardization process.
Safety plans, Search and Rescue protocols must be standardized for all of the Commercial Heliskiing Operators in US and must be monitored and enforced by a Federal Authority.
Safety plans, search and rescue protocols must be submitted to the US Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Liability release forms must have a clear understanding to hold the heliskiing operator responsible in case of gross negligence and criminal negligence, as well as clients must have a clear understanding of the inherent risks.
All the Commercial heliskiing operations in the US must introduce their Heli-Ski clients to the existing weather pattern, snow pack and how it relates to the surrounding mountains. Clients must be advised regarding the possible dangers.
All Commercial heliskiing operators in the US must collect, observe and discuss weather, snow reports and avalanche conditions from all sources available each day. All Heli-Ski clients must be involved in the discussions of: weather, snow reports and avalanche conditions. Heli-Ski Clients will be part of the discussions and in the decision making of each day before they sign the daily release forms.
Every Heli-Ski client should be required to have at minimum a Level I Avalanche course completed and Wilderness First Aid Class
All the guides and the Heli-Ski clients must wear & use the latest safety equipment; Air backpack and breathing device AvaLung.
All guides must check the readiness of each Heli-Ski client’s safety devices before leaving the operations base and before each run.
Snow observation i.e. a test pit and ski cutting must be required on every exposure. The Heli-Ski clients must be informed of the result before they are allowed to ski the run.
Two guides must be required for each group of Heli-Ski clients for all Commercial heliskiing operations in the US. One of the guides must ski the chosen terrain before all of the clients. One guide must wait at the top and ski down after the last Heli-Ski client completes his or her’s run.
When an avalanche occurs every guide and Heli-Ski client available must participate in the search and rescue mission.
Search and Rescue Centers must be establish in a central location where heliskiing operations are present. Each Heli-Ski Operation must contribute to it and participate in case of emergency.
All Commercial Heliskiing operations in the US must have adequate numbers of helicopters to respond in a timely manner when an emergency or a search and rescue occurs.
Every injured Heli-Ski Client or a Guide must be transported to the nearest hospital.
All Commercial Heliskiing Guides must participate in on-going training. All Commercial Heliskiing Guides must practice Avalanche Safety, Search and Rescue procedures and protocol & First Aid drills throughout the Heli-Ski season.
Every new Heli-Ski Guide must apprentice and train for a minimum of two years before he or she is allowed to guide & lead clients.
All Commercial Heliskiing Guides must carry a memo log, and complete all snow observation results each day. Radio communication must be available to all clients, guides and the base of the Heliskiing Operation.
Radio communication must be recorded and GPS data available in case of accident.
ZERO tolerance of drugs and alcohol.
All Commercial Heliskiing Operators in the US must have a drug screening policy for their employees.
A standardized code of conduct should be adopted by Heli-Ski Operators in regards to the Heli-Ski Client, i.e. consumption of drugs or alcohol while clients of a Heli-Ski Operator.
All Commercial Heli-Ski operators must be responsible for the information on their websites and printed materials. All information must be true, accurate and up to date.
We wish to all the clients and guides heli-skiing in the US many happy and safe spectacular days.