The more than $1 billion Westmead Redevelopment achieved a significant milestone this week when a test helicopter landed on the new Central Acute Services Building (CASB).
Onlookers across Westmead Health Precinct watched the blue sky transition into night as the aircraft carried out multiple tests on Australia’s tallest hospital building.
Westmead Redevelopment Director of Commissioning Sacha Mott said the trials were a critical step in the commissioning process.
“We essentially test the design of the building to ensure it supports helicopter activities and the impact of landing. This ensures crew and hospital staff safety,” Sacha said.
“We inspect every aspect of safety while operating in a live state. This includes checking lights on the helipad are working at the correct wattage and there are no obstacles in the flight path.
“It’s such an exciting milestone because when the helicopter lands on the helipad, it means we’re ready for the first patient.”
For more than two years, the helicopter operational planning committee has investigated all aspects of safety, operations, access and integration with health services in the new hospital building.
“It brings all the pieces of the project together,” Sacha said. “For me, it’s the pinnacle of design, planning and teamwork.”
Even the name required careful consideration.
“There was a comprehensive body of work around what to call the helideck - the CASB Helideck is now painted on the circle so it’s visible from the air.
“This naming convention had to marry into the existing helipads at Westmead Hospital and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.”
Health Infrastructure Senior Project Director Tim Mason said this was an exciting milestone. “It’s significant in that completion of the helipad is around the corner,” he said.
“The next step is to begin simulations for patient transfers from the helipad down the destination-controlled lifts to where the patient needs to go such as emergency or theatres.”
The Central Acute Services Building is a partnership between the Western Sydney Local Health District, the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and the University of Sydney.
Video from on the ground: youtu.be/PiPqLx2waHo