A new $1.8 million helipad on top of Roper Hospitalís South Tower will open for air traffic next month.

Roper St. Francis Healthcare currently shares the use a helipad on top of the President Street parking garage with the Medical University Hospital and also accepts patients arriving by air transport at a helipad on its Mount Pleasant Hospital campus.

Dr. Patrick Kelly, an emergency department doctor at Roper St. Francis Healthcare, explained the new helipad will allow emergency room physicians to treat patients more quickly.

Funds for the helipad were raised privately through donations.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.