Helipad Procedure for Incoming Aircraft

Objective

To ensure appropriate utilization of the University of Missouri Health Care helipads and maintain availability of landing areas for medical helicopters while coordinating safe operations on the pad.

Definitions

  • AIR COM: Air Methods Communication Center
  • CS: Communication Specialist
  • ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival
  • UMHC: University of Missouri Health Care
  • WCH: Women’s and Children’s Hospital

Policy

The University Hospital and Women’s and Children’s Hospital helipads will be limited to air medical-related transports only. Utilization will be limited to patient transports, personnel, equipment and blood or organ transfers unless prior authorization is obtained from the chief flight nurse (medical manager) or hospital designee.

Procedure

  1. The AIR COMM Communication Specialist (CS) directs movement of air medical aircraft at MU Healthcare and Women’s and Children’s Hospital helipads with prior communication to include patient report, ETA and any assistance needed with patient off-loading.
  2. Unauthorized or questionable requests for landing should be deferred to MU Healthcare security. The Security Department can be contacted by calling the hospital switchboard at 573-882-4141.
  3. In the event of a military or other oversized aircraft requesting permission to land at the MU Healthcare  helipad, the AIR COMM/CS will contact the following:
    • On-duty flight crew
    • Hospital Security
  4. The MUHC helipad, for operational purposes, shall be considered a single spot helipad, with the southern pad being available for visiting aircraft. If the southern helipad is occupied at MUHC or the single pad occupied at WCH and a second or third medical aircraft is inbound the CS will contact UMHC /WCH security to request the visiting aircraft pilot to relocate to Columbia Regional Airport.
  5. All visiting aircraft pilots will remain with their aircraft and be prepared to relocate immediately.
  6. In the event of multiple inbound aircraft arriving at MUHC/WCH helipad, off-load sequencing will be at the discretion of the incoming medical crews with priority based on patient acuity.
  7. Incoming aircraft may use as an alternate, the helipad at Women’s and Children’s Hospital or Columbia Regional Airport at their discretion. Assistance with transport arrangements will be made through the Air Methods Communication Center (800-325-5400)
  8. The AIR COMM/CS will alert pilots of other inbound aircraft.
  9. All incoming pilots will communicate with:
    • AIR COM · Pilot-to-pilot and/or in the blind on 123.025 on all approach landings at UMHC/WCH helipads
    • Emergency department UMHC/WCH 
  10. All outbound pilots will communicate with:
    • AIR COM
    • Pilot-to-pilot and/or in the blind at intervals on 123.025 before all departures at UMHC/WCH helipads
  11. Pilots will communicate with other aircraft pilots on radio frequency 123.025 when more than one aircraft is running on the helipad simultaneously and/or when inbound with similar ETA.
  12. All returning pilots for medical crew pick-up after refueling will follow the same above incoming communication. All inbound aircraft with patient drop-off will be given priority landing before crew pick-up aircraft.
  13. Hospital security personnel will monitor the helipad during flight operations with the capability of communicating with flight personnel via radio.
  14. The Staff for Life Helicopter Service personnel will refrain from patient loading/off-loading when more than one aircraft is operating “hot” on the helipad.
  15. Aircraft are prohibited from landing or departing from the MUHC/WCH helipad without prior contact with the AIR COM, pilot-to-pilot on 123.025 and the Emergency Department.