A new helipad may only receive H1 certification which would mean very few helicopters could use it. Dean Stoltz has more.
Officials from Transport Canada spent Wednesday and Thursday at Campbell River Regional Hospital testing the facility’s helipad.
Local officials have become worried in recent months that the landing pad might not be what was ordered. They say if the helipad only receives H1 certification from Transport Canada, then very few helicopters will be able to land at the hospital.
The Comox Valley Hospital landing pad has also only received an H1 certification to this point.
“We’ve got supposedly a state of the art, well designed, brand new hospital and Oh gee and guess what, we can’t take in the most serious or ship out the most serious patients that need help.” said Jim Abram, Regional District Director and member of the hospital board.
” It doesn’t look like we’re going to get our H2 and then the hospital board will have to decide where we go from there because the contract was quite specific that it said an H2 helipad.” said Campbell River City Councillor Larry Samson.
When asked if that could include legal action he said “I don’t know.”
Samson says a decision isn’t expected from Transport Canada until at least mid October.
Island Health responded to inquiries from CHEK News with a written statement saying in part:
-Heliport classification is determined by Transport Canada, based on their safety standards.
-Island Health will comply with all of the appropriate Transport Canada requirements related to the opening and operation of the helipads at the new hospitals.
-The new North Island Hospital campuses in Campbell River and the Comox Valley are expected to receive certification from Transport Canada once the new hospital is complete.
-Flight checks are part of any Transport Canada heliport certification process. The flight checks include approaches and departures along flight paths; helipad landings and takeoffs; and orbits of the heliport.
-Flight checks were conducted at the North Island Hospital Comox Valley heliport in late August. Flight checks were scheduled for the North Island Hospital Campbell River & District on Thursday, September 28.
-Heliport certification is a lengthy, multi-stage process involving Transport Canada, Island Health, helipad builders Graham, hospital operations firm Honeywell, Helijet, BCEHS and a number of technical experts.
-This process is still underway and must be allowed to unfold as it should.