Monday, January 21, 2013

Avon Lake Mayor Meets With Clinic Officials Over Helicopter Disturbances: Mayor discounts "regular 4:30 p.m. flight" over the city

The new Cleveland Clinic helicopter
 Credit Lori Switaj

Responding to concerns that Cleveland Clinic helicopters were causing disturbances to residents in Avon Lake, Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka met with Clinic administrators this month to discuss the issue.

The Cleveland Clinic's Richard E. Jacobs Health Center, located in Avon, opened an emergency room on Sept. 5 that included a helipad for transporting patients.

Zilka said he met with staff members at the Clinic on Jan. 8 to discuss flight times and paths.

“The (designated) flight path is along I-90 as patients are transferred to Cleveland,” Zilka said.

Zilka said he had heard complaints from residents of a regular 4:30 p.m. flight over Avon Lake.

“Records do not show a regular or even intermittent flights at that time,” Zilka said.

The helicopter on occasion makes a stop at Burke Lakefront Airport and intermittently then returns to the Avon Cleveland Clinic location, but it is usually earlier and does not have a set time.

The mayor said the Clinic advised they were sensitive to residents in the area.

“On occasion a helicopter may stray north of the railroad tracks due to weather,” Zilka said, but added he was told that was a rare occurrence.

The mayor said he had fielded numerous complaints since the Clinic’s ER, located near the new Nagel Interchange opened, but noted that the Clinic was  not the only ones who used a helicopter that flew over Avon Lake.

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