October 28, 2010 6:08 pm

Helipad unveiled in Kelowna

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The Okanagan now has its first-ever roof top helipad.

The helipad is a 12-ton steel and aluminum structure on top of the new tower being built at Kelowna General Hospital.

The new $5 million landing pad could be a life-saving difference in providing health care to critical care patients.

Interior Health says it will help patients requiring rapid transport to the largest hospital in the B.C. Interior.

Currently, helicopters taking patients to KGH land at either the airport or on the property of a helicopter company in West Kelowna.

Patients are then transferred by ambulance to the hospital.

Due to noise concerns, the primary flight path will run over Okanagan Lake to minimize flying over residential neighbourhoods.

The first helicopter flights will begin in spring 2012 after the hospital expansion is completed.

It is expected there will be one to two flights daily.

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