Technical guidelines 30 June 2021

Guidelines for helicopter medical transport landing sites

These guidelines assist government and public health services to plan, develop and operate a landing site for helicopter medical transport (HMT) flight operations.

They apply principally to the development of new facilities, which have the best opportunity to implement relevant standards and recommended practices. The guidelines also provide baseline criteria for the assessment and upgrade of existing facilities, although we acknowledge it may be impractical to fully implement these provisions at some existing sites. 

The guidelines have been produced in consultation with Department of Health staff with assistance from expert technical consultants and in collaboration with Ambulance Victoria (AV), the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and Victorian public health services.

The specific objectives of these guidelines are to:

  • support the planning, design development and operation of heliports that enable safe and efficient operation of helicopters engaged in medical transport operations
  • ensure the development and construction of heliports follows best practice and reflects applicable Australian and international regulations, standards and recommended practices
  • ensure details, including any cost–benefit analyses, for the planning, development and operation of heliports are integrated with hospital service and master plans
  • provide guidance to public healthcare services and other heliport owners in relation to the management, operation and maintenance of a heliport
  • support effective consultation with user groups and stakeholders including landowners, local governments, communities and responsible authorities.

These guidelines apply to heliports that are intended to enable patient transfer by helicopters conducting medical transport operations in Victoria. The guidelines are broadly applicable to ground-level and elevated facilities at onsite or offsite locations, and include the airspace associated with arrival and departure flightpaths. The guidelines should be used in the planning and design phase of a helipad development project.

These guidelines are only applicable to helicopter medical transport flights operated in visual meteorological conditions (VMC), which includes flight within the direct and manoeuvring visual segment of a point in space (PinS) approach or departure procedure.

These guidelines are not intended to provide definitive requirements for all circumstances, and it may be impractical to implement these guidelines at all sites. Note, however, that heliports may not be funded by government or used by AV if they are not designed and built in accordance with these guidelines.

Overview of Guidelines for helicopter medical transport landing sites

  • Introduction
  • Planning and concept design for heliports
  • Detailed design for heliports
  • Heliport management and operations
  • Appendix 1: Related guidelines and applicable standards
  • Appendix 2: Glossary
  • Appendix 3: Heliport approval process
  • Appendix 4: Physical characteristics of the design helicopter
  • Appendix 5: Image descriptions

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Last updated: 30 June 2021