UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco will feature a rooftop helipad, which will be used to bring critically ill newborns, children and pregnant women to UCSF from outlying community hospitals for the most advanced, lifesaving medical care. Having a hospital-based helipad will not only reduce the time it takes to transport seriously ill patients, but also will minimize complications associated with the transporting process.
The helipad will be located on the roof of the medical building. Alternate locations were considered for its placement, both off-site and on the ground. In the end, the rooftop location was chosen, both for noise considerations and, importantly, because further transportation on the ground increases risk for the patient.
Since helicopter transportation will only be used in life-threatening, critical situations, the helipad is expected to be used one to two times a day, on average. About 40 helicopter flights are expected each month, the vast majority (82%) taking place between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
The majority of approaches and departures will be made over the San Francisco Bay to the east. Alternate routes have been designed for situations where wind patterns force a departure to the west. These approaches will be made over the nearby 280 freeway and nearby non-residential streets.
We worked diligently and closely with our neighbors in the communities surrounding our Mission Bay medical center campus, from late 2008 to early 2009, to understand and respond to their concerns about the potential for disruptive helicopter noise. After many constructive community meetings, we used much of the community’s feedback to develop the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay Residential Sound Reduction Program for Helicopter Operations (RSRP), which identifies substantive measures to reduce noise impacts. Please see RSRP Community Process Summary for more information on the program.