Manitoba

Manitoba's first hospital helipad gets test run

Manitoba's first hospital-based helipad is in place and nearly ready to open atop Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre.

STARS air ambulance tests helipad 5 years after it was first announced

The STARS air ambulance sits on the new helipad at Health Sciences Centre's new Diagnostic Centre of Excellence on Friday. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Manitoba's first hospital-based helipad is in place and nearly ready to open atop Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre.

STARS air ambulance tested the pad on Friday, five years after it was first announced.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority confirmed the helipad will be open sometime this month, but exactly when depends on the weather, a spokesperson said.

The helipad at Health Sciences Centre was first announced in 2011. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

In 2011, then-Health Minister Theresa Oswald said the province would build a helipad at HSC as part of a new diagnostic imaging facility.

Then in January of this year, after construction on the imaging facility was complete, officials said the 18-by-18-metre rooftop landing pad would open in spring 2016.

Officials have said they anticipate one or two air ambulances will land there every day.

The new pad means air ambulances won't have to land at the Winnipeg airport and then take patients by ground ambulance to a hospital.

Cam Heke of STARS said it should reduce transport times by up to half an hour.

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