The President of the Organising Committee for an International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine World Cup event which saw a skier airlifted to hospital after a heavy crash in last year's race has announced a second rescue helicopter will be present at this year's competition.
FIS officials visited Val Gardena in Italy to inspect the course before this year's World Cup races on December 20 and 21 – although it is currently the middle of summer and there is no snow.
The course has been evaluated following a heavy crash by Marc Gisin in last year's downhill race.
Rainer Senoner, President of the Saslong Classic Club at Val Gardena and of the race Organising Committee, said extra precautions will be introduced for the World Cup.
He said: "This year there will be a second helicopter rescue team purely reserved for World Cup races, providing services without compromising relief efforts throughout the region or having to interrupt the races."
Markus Waldner, the chief race director for men's FIS World Cup events, and Hannes Trinkl, the FIS race director and a Nagano 1998 Winter Olympic bronze medallist in the downhill, visited the course and met with Senoner and chief of race Horst Demetz.
Demetz revealed further new safety systems will be introduced to attempt to guarantee athlete well-being.
He said: "The new snow-making system will allow us to produce up to 30 per cent more snow in the same period of time.
"It is fantastic being able to guarantee perfect snow coverage even in early season as December.
"Furthermore, we can guarantee even more safety for the athletes thanks to the renewal of all A-nets and air fences on the entire slope."
Senoner presented planned changes to the course itself for the 2019 World Cup, with the super-G race on December 20 and the downhill event the following day.
The super-G start will be relocated to the west, in the direction of Sassolungo.
Senoner said: "The start will be even faster and more technical, the TV pictures will be much better offering an optimal view to the Dolomites.
"Moreover, this new starting position could also be interesting for a future sprint downhill."
Gisin was treated in intensive care following his crash.
He suffered several fractured ribs, which caused injuries to his lungs.