Archictectural rendering of the propsed Health Sciences Centre helipad. ((WRHA))

The STARS air ambulance is staying permanently in Manitoba with construction of a new helicopter pad at Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre.

The provincial government contracted with the Alberta-based air ambulance service to provide emergency airlift services due to the floods this year and in 2009. Tuesday, Health Minister Theresa Oswald said non-profit Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) program will be established in the province permanently.

"The STARS team has made a real difference in Manitoba's flood fight and we thank them for their hard work," said Oswald.

Since arriving in Manitoba on April 1, STARS has responded to 60 calls and transferred 34 critically-ill patients.

Oswald said province will build a helipad at the Health Sciences Centre as part of a new, seven-storey, $39-million diagnostic imaging facility.