Motol University Hospital – Prague’s largest medical facility – embraces EGNOS technology and becomes accessible even under harsh weather conditions.
Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) are crucial in times of crises such as global pandemics, and are an integral part of many healthcare systems across the globe. They help with emergency evacuations and inter-hospital transports across Europe and also with transporting doctors and medical equipment to remote sites. Often, adverse weather conditions or other factors, such as smoke, cause helicopters to divert or abort landings. In addition, many hospitals lack costly ground-based helicopter navigation equipment to provide guidance in bad weather, which may lead to significant delays when time is of the essence.
To continue delivering high level healthcare services, Motol University Hospital upgraded its facilities by implementing an EGNOS landing procedure, allowing helicopters to land safely even under bad weather conditions on the rooftop helipad of the hospital. The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is the European Satellite-Based Augmentation System. It is improving the performance of Global Navigation Satellite Systems by offering an additional layer of accuracy in the landing procedure.
Thanks to EGNOS, the European Satellite-Based Augmentation System, pilots can navigate through the clouds and fog, and land safely at the Prague-based hospital. Hospital accessibility around the clock is crucial for the transportation of critically ill patients and also for operations such as the organ transplant transportation service of Motol Hospital.
“I am delighted that the GSA has been instrumental to the implementation of this procedure and that Motol Hospital now relies on EGNOS to ensure that patients in critical conditions can safely land on its helipad. I am looking forward to making more hospitals accessible across the European Union.’’ says GSA Executive Director, Rodrigo da Costa.
“As the director of the Motol University Hospital, I am pleased that the European GNSS Agency (GSA) helped to create and implement a satellite-based procedure for the hospital’s helipad. This will enable using the helipad in adverse weather conditions, while the complicated transfer of patients to emergency will be eliminated. Above all, it will enhance our Transplant Programme as it will allow very quick organ transfer directly from the helicopter to the operating rooms’’, concludes Motol University Hospital Director, Dr. Miloslav Ludvík
The implementation of this procedure as first in the Czech republic on the hospital helipad has been co-funded by GSA within the EGNOS Adoption CZ project under Aviation Grant Programme and coordinated by GNSS Centre of Excellence. The procedure has been designed by Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic and the demonstration of this approach procedure took place early in December 2020, with the participation of the Aviation Service of the Police of the Czech Republic where an Airbus EGNOS-enabled helicopter H135 (EC135) landed successfully at Motol’s helipad thanks to EGNOS.
Watch the video below:
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