Consideration about future flight plans for ambulance helicopters landing at Shoalhaven District Hospital will be taken into consideration in the planning for a new proposed multi-level car park at the hospital.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward said consultation with NSW Ambulance and Health Infrastructure regarding both the temporary and permanent flight path arrangements for the Shoalhaven Hospital helipad was ongoing.
Presently the helicopters come in and out of the hospital from the west over the Shoalhaven River as per its development application approval.
The helicopters land and take off from the helipad on the southern boundary of the hospital grounds in Nowra Park, a location many locals refer to as the Recreation Park.
Their take off route would be directly into the eastern wall of the proposed car park.
Nearby residents have raised this and other issues regarding any proposed changes to the local flight plan with Fairfax Media.
In a letter to local residents NSW Health Infrastructure (HI) said while the multi-level car park proposal does not require development consent from Shoalhaven City Council, the organisation was required to assess the likely impacts in accordance to the environmental Planning and Assessment Act.
The letter was used to notify occupiers of adjoining and adjacent properties of the intention to construct the three storey, five split level proposal, giving residents 21 days to comment on the proposal.
Shoalhaven City Council actually applied for the development application on behalf of Shoalhaven District Hospital, for the helicopter landing site for emergency/aero medical evacuation in June 1994.
One of the approval conditions was the flight path, both arriving and departing, should be via the Shoalhaven River corridor, in an effort to minimise impact on residents of approaching helicopters.
Residents have questioned if the approved flight plan would change due to the new car park construction.
Residents also questioned if the possible reflection of the sound and vibration from the helicopters back towards homes and the nearby preschool had been considered, along with possible increase in landing and departure turbulence due to airflow movements in and around the new building.
It was also asked if the helipad could even be relocated to the rooftop of the proposed car park, similar to the helipad attached to Wollongong Hospital.
“Flight path details will be updated once a solution has been reached,” Mr Ward said.
“We are having ongoing consultation with NSW Ambulance and Health Infrastructure regarding both the temporary and permanent flight path arrangements for the Shoalhaven Hospital helipad.”