The Leonardo AW139 touched down on the helipad in the morning of 11 December, standing 39 stories above Spencer Street in Melbourne's Central Business District.
Chief Pilot of the Victoria Police Air Wing Rob Rogel said, given the central position of the building, helicopters will be able to take teams anywhere in the Australian state without having to stop for fuel.
"The helipad down there, these choppers will be able to transport teams of specialist police anywhere in the state without needing to refuel," he said.
New helipad is time-effective for the police
Inspector Craig Shepherd added that the new helipad would also be time-effective for police. "Potentially saving half an hour to an hour in the delivery of those specialist personnel to a critical incident, to an emergency or an evolving operation.”
He said the helipad had been part of construction plans for the new headquarters from the beginning, and taking in the rest of the city was critical. "Part of the process for identifying appropriate pathways and approach and landings and departures was the buildings around it," Inspector Shepherd explained. "The advantage is that Spencer Street is on the edge of the city, which means the flight path is over railways and open space, so we don't have to fly within the buildings or within the city grid itself."
The helipad will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week but only for situations requiring a rapid response.
Introducing instrument flight rules operations means increased safety for crews and patients, including for helipad landings. AirMed&Rescue spoke to operators and training providers to find out how complicated they are to implement.