COLUMBUS COUNTY (WECT) - Last year, the AirLink helicopter at New Hanover Regional Center made nearly 90 trips to Columbus County, transporting patients for care.
Construction work at Columbus Regional Healthcare System, in Whiteville, is underway for a helicopter that was be station at the hospital.
Todd Howell, the chief operating officer at Columbus Regional tells us it normally takes 20 minutes for the helicopter to arrive from Wilmington.
"I think having a helicopter here will be great for the community and for the patients. With patients, who are especially having heart attacks, we're able to get them to cardiac lab a lot quicker," said Howell.
Howell says the helicopter will also serve other surrounding counties that are closer to Whiteville instead of Wilmington.
The new helicopter is part of an expansion between New Hanover Regional Medical Center and the AirLink Program.
According to Howell, the new helicopter should be up and running in Columbus County within the next three months.