Deck Integrated Fire Fighting System certified to UK CAA standards
The UK’s first onshore elevated helipad with a Deck Integrated Fire Fighting System (DIFFS) at Kings College Hospital London has been certified to UK CAA CAP 1264 by CAA International (CAAi), a globally recognised aviation consultancy and part of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) International Directorate.
The construction phase of the helipad was managed by property and construction consultant Watts Group during a period when UK best practice was transitioning from Health Building Note (HBN) 15:03 to UK CAA CAP 1264, the latest UK design and operational standards for helicopter landing areas at hospitals.
Following an indepth review of the helipad drawings, the feasibility study and comprehensive onsite inspections by UK CAA Regulators, the helipad was given the green light for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) and air ambulance operations.
To meet the design requirements of ICAO Annex 14 (Volume II), CAP 437 and the latest CAP 1264, the helipad’s physical characteristics (surface, tie-down points, safety net, and access points), environmental and operational factors, visual aids and fire fighting systems all had to be assessed.
'To achieve UK CAA compliance, we had to increase the water storage tanks from 8m3 to 20m3. The system also required new foam mixing equipment, larger pumps and associated controls,' said Tim Messer, Project Director for Watts Group. 'The CAA certification gives assurance that HEMS operations at KCH can operate safely and best serve patients in time critical conditions.'