ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) is eager to help critical patients with expanded helipad options. The hospital will add a helipad to the Critical Care Tower (CCT) facility. The helipad will provide an access point for patients flown in from across New Mexico.

“The new helipad on the CCT will greatly improve patient outcomes because it will reduce time and increase access to our services,” Robert Perry, the director of emergency preparedness and the Dispatch Center at UNMH, said in a press release.

Since 2007, there’s been only one helipad at the hospital. UNMH says the pad regularly receives over 1,000 landings a year. Now, an additional helipad will help expand services.

“The Critical Care Tower will stack several services on top of one another under the helipad,” Perry said. “An elevator will take patients from the helipad down to the emergency department, radiology, operating rooms, or the intensive care units. This new system is going to eliminate a lot of movement and time across the hospital.”

The helipad will come with modern features, such as a snow-melting system, and an automatic emergency fire suppression feature. The site will also have space for a third helipad if UNMH needs to expand in the future. UNMH says the Critical Care Tower is set to be finished sometime in late 2024.

“By having this second helipad at our campus its going to allow us to take care more patients from across New Mexico and across the southwest,” said Makenzie McNeill, communications manager for campus development at UNM.

“This new helipad is a big win for not only the people of New Mexico and our community here in Albuquerque but for everyone across the southwest,” said McNeill.