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Helipad at Piha to be re-developed

4 August, 2006

Media Release

Helipad at Piha to be re-developed

Waitakere City Council is proposing to re-develop the helipad at Piha, for emergency helicopters, including the police Eagle helicopter and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

The City Development Committee today accepted a recommendation to go ahead with a plans to re-develop the pad developed between the community, the council and the rescue helicopter trust.

The existing pad will be enlarged to accommodate the larger rotors on a new, larger, rescue machine. The pad will also have its own lights that can be activated by pilots, for night landings.

In addition, there will be a blue light atop the mid-beach toilets, near the pad, that will flash to help guide the pilot at night as well as providing a warning to people on the ground, when a helicopter is approaching.

“This is an excellent compromise,” says Christine Shepherd, chair of the Waitakere Community Board.

“Originally the rescue helicopter trust wanted a concrete pad but the local community was very opposed to this idea. The final outcome has been arrived at through consultation between the council, immediately affected residents, the residents and ratepayers association and the helicopter trust.”

The council and the Piha residents also agreed that any helicopters other than emergency helicopters, would require specific resource consent before they could use the pad, says Mrs Shepherd.

Operators of any other helicopters using the pad without resource consent, will be open to prosecution by the council.

“This is a win-win for safety and the local community. I think everybody recognises that there must be an emergency helipad at Piha and nobody wanted to see unrestricted helicopter activities. This will give us the best of both worlds,” says Mrs Shepherd.

ENDS

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