Plans to increase the size of the new helipad at the Clickimin were met with no objections from Lerwick Community Council this week.
An application has been submitted to increase the diameter of the landing area from 10 metres to 15 metres to allow casualties to be moved more easily on a stretcher.
The decision to develop the existing 10-metre diameter landing circle follows talks between Shetland Islands Council and the various emergency services and operators tasked with using the pad. They had expressed concern that they would have to wheel the stretcher over grass.
A supporting statement for the application said: “Although the new EHLS [emergency helicopter landing site] is adequate to land there were reservations on how to move a stretchered casualty (stretcher alone weighs 80kg) without going over grass.
“It was discussed with SAS, Bristow’s Helicopters, [the] coastguard, NHS and the SIC on the best solution.
“It was agreed between those parties that the landing circle should be increased.”
The report states the layout of the pitches at Clickimin had placed restrictions on where the new landing pad could be built.
However, layouts had changed since the original planning permission was received.
“The development of the 60/40 indoor pitch [to be built alongside the Clickimin Complex] has increased the available space between the pitches,” the report said.
Objection letters were submitted by South Lochside residents Gail and Sandy McMillan, on the grounds of noise disturbance and proximity to residents.
Mr McMillan said he had taken decibel readings of helicopter landings and the noise of the helicopter exceeded the legal limit of 85 decibels.
“The dB readings which have been taken over a period of time have been as high as 108 dB,” he noted.
“There has not been a flight landing, sitting, waiting or idling, or on take off which has been within the permitted dB, and also the downdraft from the rescue helicopter is in excess of a force 10 on the Beaufort scale, while landing and takeoff. There is a very high risk of this high downdraft causing damage to property in the vicinity.”
Chairman Jim Andrew had asked why the landing site had not been built further away from homes and on the other side of the fence to where it was sited, however there were no objections made by the community council.
Development of a new landing site became necessary when plans for the new Anderson High School and hostel got under way.