Proposed landing site announced for MGH’s helicopter service

There is expected to be 15 to 20 helicopter landings at Marquette General Hospital per month with its new ambulance service.  With the increase, MGH officials discussed a new location for the helicopter to land during a public forum Wednesday night.

Right now, the helicopter lands in Berry Events Center parking lot on NMU’s Campus, but police and fire have to shut down the lot for safety.  The new landing pad is slated to be in a section of the Neldberg Building parking lot, at the corner of College Avenue and Hebard Court.

“Doing this on campus we won’t need police and fire to shut down an area, because this will be a designated helistop where the helicopter can land without stopping the traffic and/or having anybody wander on (to the parking lot) when the helicopter is landing,” MGH CEO Ed Banos said.

There were some concerns from the public about noise, and the close proximity of the landing pad to Father Marquette Middle School.  Banos said on average, 200 minutes of 720 hours per month will be noisy, or about .1% of the time.

“It will actually fly over the NMU campus, across the parking lot of the University Center for a landing, so there won’t be any houses nearby,” he said.

“We’ve had conversations with the administration of the church (St. Michael Catholic Church) and administration at NMU, and they felt this was okay.  And now hopefully this will be less of a burden for those people who live closer to our emergency room exit because it’ll be more than a block away, so the impact on them would be minimal.”

The landing area will be fenced off, lights will be added, and a few trees will be cut down.  MGH will now have to go through the city planning process to apply for a permit for the landing area.