Safety raised for choppers

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Improved service: A big crowd helped launch the new Tyabb airport helipad. Picture: Gary Sissons

PENINSULA Aero Club last week opened a more advanced helipad which will support airborne emergency services on the peninsula. The design caters for larger and more sophisticated helicopters which require safer, more dedicated facilities. It will supply fuel to water bombing aircraft as well as the Police Air Wing and others.

“We have seen aircraft become more fuel critical during fire fights over the past few years and this new facility will provide a much needed resource,” club vice-president Jack Vevers said.

“The total cost of the infrastructure is around $400,000, with Mornington Peninsula Shire contributing $100,000 from its emergency services budget. The rest was raised by Peninsula Aero Club members as well as some from commercial investment.”

Police Air Wing Inspector Craig Shepherd said: “This helipad will enhance the emergency services capability on the peninsula and will help save lives and property.”

Last year the club raised $220,000 and built a fully equipped medical emergency triage centre and respite area for fire crews. “These and the helipad will allow us to make the most of airborne first responders,” Mr Vevers said. “Because of this the peninsula will be safer and more secure this summer.”

First published in the Western Port News – 10 October 2017

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