Landing ban still in place for Air Ambulances

Air Ambulances are still not heading straight to nearby hospitals.

Patients heading to Surrey Memorial or Royal Columbian Hospitals by Air Ambulance will still not be able to go directly.

The Provincial Health Services Agency announced Friday that flights to four B.C. hospitals by Helijet helicopters have resumed.

Those hospitals include Vancouver General Hospital and hospitals on Vancouver Island.

However, that still leaves patients from Fraser Valley heading to Surrey or New Westminster taking a circuitous route to emergency treatment.

Aircraft from this area are more likely to land at Pitt Meadows Airport, and patients would be transferred to ground ambulance again.

Transport Canada has had issues with the size of the helipads and with the ability of Helijet’s aircraft to land there safely under all circumstances.

The affected hospitals have strict landing requirements because they are in dense urban areas.

The issues with Helijet landing at the hospitals only arose this summer. The same aircraft have been landing at the helipads for years until the Transport Canada issue was raised.

Helijet executives had hoped to receive an exemption on what they called a technical rule.


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