In the 1980s the Whistler Question began posing a question to three to six people and publishing their responses under “Whistler’s Answers” (not to be confused with the Whistler Answer). Each week, we’ll be sharing one question and the answers given back in 1983. Please note, all names/answers/occupations/neighbourhoods represent information given to the Question at the time of publishing and do not necessarily reflect the person today.
Some context for this week’s question: Students at the original Myrtle Philip School often remember helicopters landing on the field near the school in the early 1980s. There was no municipal airport, though a tri-service airport facility had been under discussion. At the beginning of 1983, a helicopter pad was proposed for the roof of the Tantalus Lodge, in order to have a site near to the Whistler Village.
Question: Where do you think a Whistler helicopter landing pad should be?
Warren Borden – Shipwright – North Vancouver
This is not a matter of convenience but of safety. The maximum period of danger with helicopters is during takeoff and landing so they just must be away from people. Ideally they shouldn’t be landing near tall buildings because of the updraft. If you’re going to land outside your medical centre they should cordon off an area as well.
Keith Dalley – Lift Maintenance Supervisor, Whistler Mountain – White Gold
The roof of Tantalus parking structure seems fine to me because it’s handy to transport injured people from the medical centre. My next choice would be Function Junction. The thing you have to remember is that no matter where the pad is, in a real emergency, a helicopter will land wherever the pilot wants.
Frank Thiessen – Professional Pilot – Alpine Meadows
The critical thing with helicopters is that they stay away from congested areas. I don’t think either the practice fairway or Tantalus are particularly good spots for a landing pad around here. Although the odds of something going wrong are small – they are really safe machines – you’ve just got to be away from crowds. I suggest they move back to the school or to Function Junction.