Anonymous Letter: Pilots Won’t Use New Children’s Memorial Helipad

CHICAGO (CBS) — Opponents say they have new ammunition in their fight against a helipad at the new Children’s Memorial Hospital complex, which is now under construction in Streeterville.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports, opponents have forwarded to federal transportation officials an anonymous one-paragraph letter, purporting to say four senior University of Chicago chopper pilots will not use the new helipad, because of the proximity of nearby buildings and the inability to land anywhere nearby in case of an emergency.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

The Illinois Department of Transportation in October approved plans for the helipad, which will sit atop a 22-story hospital wing.

The hospital issued a statement, in which it said expert testimony squarely addressed the pilots’ concerns.

The planned helipad has been drawing criticism from neighbors ever since it was first proposed in 2006. Neighbors in the high-density community were concerned about noise and safety.

But Children’s Memorial said the helipad was approved after a three-year review by IDOT experts. The hospital pointed out that it has operated a helipad for more than 20 years at its current campus in Lincoln Park.

Upon moving to its new location, Children’s Memorial Hospital will be renamed the Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. The hospital at 225 E. Chicago Ave. will open in June 2012.

  • tom Sharp

    Which insider politicians/businessmen approved this move in the first place? Obviously this is more about making money than patient care. How do you justify moving the hospital from a congested but viable location to the most congested part of town??? The pilots are right and the politicians wrong!

  • Robert Kirkwood

    The residents are a bunch of NIMBY’s. The helicopter pilots are from a competing hospital with a helipad of their own. If their expert opinions are used then where oh where will they have to go? Maybe to THEIR hospital?

    This is what happens when these yuppies have nothing better to do all day then sit around and find their next “cause” to rally behind. Whether it is a loud bar next to their home or another condo being built that will block their view of the lake. Find something better to do with your time and money than suing a great insitution like Children’s.

    One more thing. If you don’t like the noise of an occasional helicopter or the cabs honking, or the loud bars and nightlife venues of the city…..MOVE to the suburbs and leave the rest of us alone to enjoy the great things about urban living.

  • Christine Negroni
  • Christine Negroni
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