VICTORIA’s air ambulances will be able to transport critically ill patients to Bendigo hospital from June 27 when the newly-built helipad at the facility becomes fully operational.
Before then, Bendigo Health and construction consortium Exemplar will brief neighbours about how the helipad will operate, including laws that prohibit certain behaviour in the vicinity.
Once the helipad becomes certified by the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority, no drones will be able to be fly within five kilometres of the hospital.
Exemplar chief executive Michelle Morrison said the legal controls over helipads mean trees under the flight path will have to be kept trimmed.
A community information day is set down for May 30.
Ms Morrison said the helipad and carpark, which formed stage two of the new Bendigo hospital project, were Exemplar’s gift to Bendigo, and were included to make the consortium’s bid more competitive.
The design of the hospital means critically ill patients arriving by helicopter can be transported from the helipad, across the airbridge to a hot lift and be in the resuscitation unit within minutes.
Air ambulance officers will be able to train on the helipad from June 4 and from June 27, the landing space will be open to emergency helicopters.
“It is amazing to think the entire project is almost complete,” said Bendigo East MP Jacinta Allan, who with Ms Morrison and Bendigo Health chairman Bob Cameron put the final paint touches on the red cross that marks the exact landing position.