The helipad at Sudbury’s hospital is shutting down for repairs once again, this time for six weeks.
The repair work begins Monday.
It marks the third time in less than a year the helipad has been closed. Officials at Health Sciences North and Ornge Air Ambulance are looking for a temporary place to land emergency aircraft.
Ornge Sudbury operations manager Rob Smith says the airport is a bit too far away.
"We've really been trying to look at things within a five-kilometer radius of the hospital to try and reduce that transport time. We're trying to negate any out-of-hospital time that would be unnecessary," said Smith.
A few "very critical patients" arrive by fixed-wing planes at the airport, "but certainly we would like to make it closer," he added.
A parking lot at Laurentian University is one of the spots being considerered, said Smith, though no plans have been finalized.
He says he's unsure who will pay for construction of the temporary helipad.
The repairs to the existing helipad, which is still under warranty, will be paid for by contractor EllisDon. The pad’s surface is flaking because of poor water drainage, said Health Sciences North chief operating officer Joe Pilon. The pad had the same problem last summer.
"We thought perhaps it was just a problem with the membrane adhering to the concrete, we didn't realized that water was getting under the membrane and not draining away," said Pilon
He’s confident these latest repairs will fix the helipad for good.