Rotech Group Pty Ltd supplied and installed boom gates near the helicopter pad newly opened at the Tamworth hospital to ensure safety for vehicles and pedestrians.

Part of a multi-million-dollar redevelopment project, the new helipad not only opens up a two-way flight corridor above the city of Tamworth, but also is built closer to the emergency department of the hospital to facilitate quick access for patients. 

Safety was a major issue at the new helipad, which was situated near Smith Street, a busy local roadway with the helicopters creating a downdraft as high as 89km when they landed or took off. Both vehicles and pedestrians were at risk of injury from flying debris thrown by the high velocity flow near the rotor.

A solution was required to safely manage access to the common traffic area between the aircraft and motor vehicles so that the patients could be quickly brought into the hospital’s emergency room for treatment.

Rotech worked with Steensen Varming to install two boom gates along Smith Street to stop vehicle access, in addition to pedestrian warning lights at appropriate locations. The boom gates would stop both outgoing and incoming traffic on Smith Street when a helicopter was in the vicinity.

Additionally, a long range transmitter was fitted to the helicopter to activate key equipment on the ground from up to 20km away. The existing helipad lights, wind sock lights, floodlights, pedestrian warning lights and ambulance warning light would be turned on, and the boom gates would close 30 seconds after the warning lights are activated, allowing any traffic in midstream to cross the danger zone before the helicopter reached the helipad.

Rotech’s solution is playing an important role in getting patients quickly and safely from the helipad into the hospital’s emergency department for treatment.