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Emanuel: Heliport Reform Needed, But Children's Hospital Should Have One

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants City officials to overhaul Chicago's regulations governing heliports, something he says his long overdue.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, Mayor Emanuel says the ordinance for setting standards for heliports in the city has not been updated since 1973.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports


He wants building requirements and fire safety brought up to modern-day levels.

Emanuel also wants neighborhood quality of life considered.

Still, Emanuel says he favors plans for a helipad at the new Children's Memorial Hospital campus in Streeterville, even though some neighbors are fighting it.

"I personally am in favor of it because it's the appropriate thing to do for a modern, contemporary hospital," Emanuel said, "and I think it's the right thing to do, because that hospital not only serves our neighborhoods and our communities and our children, it's a landmark hospital in the five-state region that serves kids all over the place."

Emanuel says saving lives when minutes matter is an important role for a children's hospital.

Children's Memorial Hospital is set to move next year from its longtime campus in Lincoln Park to the new Ann & Robert Lurie Children' Hospital of Chicago, at 225 E. Chicago Ave.

The planned helipad has been drawing criticism from neighbors ever since it was first proposed in 2006. Neighbors in the high-density community were concerned about noise and safety.

But the Illinois Department of Transportation in October approved plans for the helipad, which will sit atop a 22-story hospital wing.

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