Helijet resumes service at B.C. heliports
Helijet International Inc. has received the necessary regulatory approvals from Transport Canada to re-establish full 24-hour emergency air ambulance service to all hospital heliports in B.C., including Vancouver General Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital and Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.
Full service resumes Friday, December 02, at 8:30 a.m.
Questions raised by Transport Canada last spring resulted in Helijet voluntarily suspending its Sikorsky 76C+ air ambulances from landing at up to seven BC hospital helipads, pending resolution with the federal regulator. In August, exemptions were granted resulting in the restoration of Helijet flights to five hospitals, but restrictions remained at the Royal Columbian and Surrey Memorial Hospital helipads. BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) used an alternate service provider for day flights to those facilities.
The matter has been resolved due to extensive work between Helijet, Transport Canada, the aircraft manufacturer and an independent aviation expert, Maxcraft Avionics. Detailed aircraft data verification was done and a new “Supplemental Type Certificate” (STC), has been issued by Transport Canada. This certificate is being permanently added to the S76C+ flight manual documentation and permits the full resumption of landings at all previously restricted elevated hospital heliports.
“This outcome is a real credit to the hard work, collaboration and support we received from our client, the British Columbia Emergency Health Services, as well as Transport Canada, Sikorsky Aircraft, Maxcraft Avionics and all the employees at Helijet,” said Rick Hill, Vice President Commercial & Business Programs at Helijet.
“Passenger and crew safety is of upmost importance to Helijet, which is why we voluntarily took steps to suspend some of our air ambulance service while this issue was being addressed,” said Hill. “With the additional STC documentation, we have resolved all issues with Transport Canada and look forward to providing crucial emergency care service for British Columbians in need, as we have for the previous 18 years.”