The helipad is officially operational at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the healthcare center said. According to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Monday’s announcement makes it the first hospital-based rooftop heliport in the Canadian province.
Originally slated for operation in 2014, the helipad’s start date was long delayed due to construction and other challenges, according to local news reports. But now that it’s functional, the helipad could speed up emergency medical transportation, provided by Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS), by 30 minutes. The service anticipates making more than 600 emergency flights each year, with the majority destined for the center. Without the rooftop accessibility, the helicopter would land at an airport several kilometers away, with ground transportation completing the route. The helipad is located at the new Diagnostic Centre of Excellence (DCE) building, which adds 91,000 square feet to Manitoba’s largest trauma center.
A joint effort between the center, STARS and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, the 60-by-60-foot helipad meets the Canadian Aviation Regulations H1 Heliport Standard and can accommodate twin-engine rotorcraft. STARS’ fleet comprises eight Airbus Helicopters BK117s and three Leonardo AW139s.