Barbara Hall's support for a fixed link to the Island Airport - she says it's essential to connect critically ill patients with hospitals in the downtown core - just doesn't fly.
Consider a review of air ambulance flights (using Ontario Ministry of Health data) prepared by Island Airport opponents Community AIR that suggests response times for medical emergencies would actually be quicker if air ambulance services were moved north of the city.
Here are five reasons why Hall needs to rethink her flight plan: 1. The vast majority of the 864 air ambulance flights handled by the Island Airport in 2001, some 88 per cent, were not Code 4 time-sensitive emergencies.
2. Very few Code 4 emergencies actually come through the Island Airport. Air ambulance helicopters fly patients directly to hospitals.
3. Nearly 90 per cent of all air ambulances dispatched from the Island Airport pick up patients in cities well outside the GTA (Peterborough, Barrie, Huntsville, Collingwood, Bracebridge), so it would make more sense to base them at an airport further north, in Barrie or Lindsay.
4. Use of the Island Airport for air ambulance services is a recent phenomenon encouraged mostly by low, subsidized rent offered by the Port Authority.
5. Air ambulances actually use the Island Airport mainly for maintenance and flight training.