Climate protest at the airport: The implications of diverting an ambulance plane

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The topic of climate protection and climate-friendly travel is increasingly becoming the focus of media coverage at the moment with climate activists resorting to drastic measures to express their views and sensitize others. One of their latest moves involved booking private jets at Schiphol-Amsterdam Airport to prevent the jets from taking off.

However, this move affected not only the passengers of the private jets but others as well. According to a Dutch news report, the protest also resulted in the ambulance plane being diverted. Since the air ambulance could not land and had to be diverted, the flight time was considerably longer. 

What happens when an ambulance plane is diverted?

Some of the reasons behind flight diversions are: 

  • Airport closures,
  • Night flight bans,
  • Unforeseen events such as severe weather

scheduled flight

An aircraft being diverted implies that it cannot land at the destination airport according to its schedule and has to switch to another one. If there is no other airport nearby or if landing at the nearest airport is not possible, the flight time will be considerably extended, which is a huge issue in the case of medical flights. For instance, if an air ambulance with a seriously ill patient on board has to be diverted, the extended flight time might impact the patient’s health. 

Longer flight time implies more stress for the patient

An ambulance flight is meticulously planned. At Medical Air Service, first of all, we look at the patient’s state of health to determine whether he is fit to fly on the ambulance plane. If the patient is fit to fly, the patient transport is organized as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Besides the ambulance aircraft, we also organize ground transportation: a ground ambulance is scheduled to transport the patient to the airport and, after the flight, to his destination. This ensures the patient is as safe and comfortable as possible. 

After organizing and scheduling everything, a precise flight plan is drawn up so that all take-off and landing times can be accurately planned.

In the case of seriously ill patients and those requiring intensive care, very rapid transport is usually necessary considering the critical state of the patient’s health. As such, any delay could have a negative effect on his condition and, in the worst case, become life-threatening. This is because the diversion of the aircraft is accompanied by a journey to the hospital since during the planning, we ensure that the planned airport is close to the destination hospital.

If the patient's state of health does not permit a long ground ambulance journey, another ambulance flight to the destination airport may have to be planned, which again considerably extends the overall transport time. This may even result in important medical treatment and surgery having to be postponed, as the scheduled surgery date cannot be kept due to the delay.


Blockages can harm patients, even after landing 

What happens if the ambulance plane is able to land on time? Do blockages affect the patient? Even if the ambulance plane manages to land on time at the planned airport, disruptions, protests and blockages can lead to delays at the airport, thus impacting the patient. For instance, if the airport is blocked, the ground ambulance may not be able to reach the landed aircraft which would result in the patient having to stay longer in the airplane. 

While ambulance planes are equipped with the most modern medical equipment, their purpose is to only provide treatment and care so that the patient’s health does not deteriorate during the transport, which is for a specific amount of time only. If the patient needs oxygen during the flight, for example, this may be depleted at a certain point after the planned landing. Of course, when organizing the medical flight, we always plan for a little more oxygen than is needed, but the space and the permissible weight in the aircraft being limited, this quota will be exhausted at some point.

In usual situations, the patient is transferred to the ground ambulance already waiting on the tarmac and is driven to the hospital as quickly as possible for further treatment. After all, the patient requires special treatment that can only be obtained in a hospital. However, if the onward journey cannot take place in time due to unforeseeable disruptions, this can have serious consequences.

 Avoid delays and flight diversions thanks to Medical Air Service

Booking an ambulance flight with Medical Air Service implies that, generally, you do not have to worry about delays and flight diversions. This is because we take into consideration all contingencies when planning the flight and we take precautions to avoid any possible delays.  

Ambulance jet

Despite proper planning, we cannot anticipate unforeseen events such as disruptions caused by a protest at the destination airport.

Therefore, we hope that in the future, climate activists in addition to sensitizing others and enforcing their goals will think about the consequences that could be caused by their actions. Since an ambulance jet and a may private jet look very similar there is always the possibility of activists mistakenly blocking an ambulance jet instead of a private jet during their next protest, thus endangering the life of another seriously ill patient.

 While it is good to show commitment, this should always be done responsibly so as not to harm others.

Contact us for an air ambulance 

If you need an air ambulance flight, you can get in touch with us every day and at any time. We are available to listen to you, assess your situation and organize the flight for you. 

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