After months of problems, delays, failed inspections and extra work, the helipad at the Whistler Health Care Centre finally reopened today (Friday, July 29).
According to a Vancouver Coastal Health spokesperson, Transport Canada officials were in Whistler yesterday to conduct a final inspection of the facility. The inspection was successful and the helipad reopened to medical helicopter traffic at noon today.
The facility was closed last August for upgrades, which eventually came to include a new helicopter landing surface, new snow-melting equipment and extensive traffic control measures such as stoplights, signs and pedestrian controls.
The helipad was originally slated to reopen last fall, but was closed for the entire ski season after failing two Transport Canada inspections and other issues coming to light. In the meantime, any medical helicopter traffic was diverted to the municipal heliport located about a 15-minute drive from the health care centre.
The helipad's reopening now means that patients can be transported directly to the medical centre by helicopter.
Stay tuned to The Question for more on this story.