Nighttime medical emergency transport by helicopter possible on Saba and St. Eustatius


 Minister Edith Schippers of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) has today put into operation the new lighting of the helipad at the local airport on Saba.

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By doing so medical emergency transport at nighttime to and from Saba is possible and safe in accordance with international norms. The helicopter is stationed on St. Eustatius; St. Eustatius also makes use of this helicopter. Schippers, as Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) is responsible for healthcare in the special municipalities Saba and St. Eustatius.
Juancho E. Irausquin Airport on Saba with 400 meters has the shortest commercial airstrip in the world. Airplanes are not allowed to land in the dark; emergency medical cases therefore depend on transport by helicopter. Until now the lighting at the airport has met the international standards. The local Health Insurance Office (ZVK) on Saba has in consultation with the Executive Council, the Ministry of VWS and the Inspection for Aviation installed new lighting at the airport that meets the international standards.
On the initiative of the Ministry of VWS the hospitals on Saba and neighboring St. Eustatius had already signed a contract with National Helicopters from Canada. Until recently night flights by helicopter on Saba were only possible with temporary, provisional installed lighting. Minister Schippers: “During a serious or life threatening situation residents of Saba and St. Eustatius must be transported fast and safe to a hospital on St. Maarten or Guadeloupe. I am happy for residents that today we could together make this possible”.