Lighting upgrades on the helipad at Charlottetown's Queen Elizabeth Hospital are now complete. It means the helipad is now available day and night.

The Hospital began a project to improve the lighting earlier this month to meet new Transport Canada standards.

It was the first lighting upgrade in nearly 30 years.

David White, director of Support Services for the QEH, said the federal government changed its standards in November, forcing the hospital to install brighter lights.  

"We had to put another light on the trees in the area so that when the helicopters come in they could see, so in actual fact we had to increase the strength of the lights," said White. "Plus we had to add other lights to light the trees on the peripheral."  

The upgrades took 19 days to complete. During that time, the hospital couldn't use the helipad after dark.   

A backup plan was put in place to have patients taken by air ambulance from the Charlottetown airport, but fortunately it never had to be used. 

The new lights have now been installed and the helipad is operating normally.   

This year the helipad was used 23 times at night to fly patients to hospitals on the mainland.