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Life Flight’s IFR Certification – Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions from EMS providers, first responders and outlying hospital are providers. If you have additional questions about the new certification or any other Life Flight question, please email:

Q. Can Life Flight now fly in all weather conditions?
A. No. While IFR allows us to fly when weather might prevent VFR flight due to cloud height and decreased visibility, we are limited during thunderstorms (rain showers are not thunderstorms), icing conditions, and extremely low visibility (fog).

Q. How can EMS use Life Flight for scene calls?
A. Many locations where we routinely respond to scenes are near airports that would allow us to rendezvous with EMS. During the request for Life Flight, our communications personnel will advise EMS if we would require meeting at a nearby airport.

Q. Does it take longer to respond for flights using IFR?
A. It may add initial time for liftoff due to flight plan filing and more detailed run-up procedures. However, that time is made up en route since IFR allows for high-speed flight above bad weather conditions.

Q. Will Life Flight be able to communicate with ground crews while on IFR flights?
A. Yes. The medical team will continue to handle all communications with hospitals, EMS, fire and law enforcement during IFR-conducted flights. The pilot will be focused on air traffic control communications.

Q. What airports can be used to meet Life Flight in case of bad weather conditions?
A. There are dozens of IFR-capable airport locations throughout Southeast Texas. See the complete list here:

IFR Airports in Southeast Texas:

  • Brazoria – Texas Gulf Coast Regional
  • Airport (Angleton/Lake Jackson)
  • Brazos – Easterwood Field (College Station) and Coulter Field (Bryan)
  • Burleson – Caldwell Municipal Airport
  • Calhoun – Calhoun County Airport (Port Lavaca)
  • Chambers – Chambers County Airport (Anahuac)
  • Colorado – Eagle Lake Airport
  • Dewitt – Yoakum Municipal Airport
  • Fayette – La Grange/Fayette Regional Air Center (La Grange)
  • Fort Bend – Sugar Land
  • Galveston – Scholes International (Galveston)
  • Hardin – Hawthorne Field (Kountze)
  • Harris – Numerous (Tomball, Baytown, LaPorte, Houston has five airports)
  • Houston – Houston County Airport (Crockett)
  • Jasper – Jasper County-Bell Field (Jasper)
  • Jefferson – Beaumont Municipal and Jack Brooks Regional (Port Arthur)
  • Lee – Giddings-Lee County (Giddings)
  • Liberty – Liberty Municipal and Cleveland

Municipal Airports:

  • Madison – Madisonville Municipal Airport
  • Matagorda – Bay City Municipal Airport and Palacios Municipal Airport
  • Montgomery – Lone Star Executive Airport (Conroe)
  • Orange – Orange County Airport (Orange)
  • Polk – Livingston Municipal Airport
  • Robertson – Hearne Municipal Airport
  • Victoria – Victoria Regional Airport
  • Walker – Huntsville Municipal Airport
  • Waller – Houston Executive Airport (Brookshire/Houston)
  • Washington – Brenham Municipal and Navasota Municipal Airports
  • Wharton – Wharton Regional Airport