Heliport
Overview
 
A heliport is a small airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

 suitable only for use by helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

s. Heliports typically contain one or more helipad
Helipad
Helipad is a common abbreviation for helicopter landing pad, a landing area for helicopters. While helicopters are able to operate on a variety of relatively flat surfaces, a fabricated helipad provides a clearly marked hard surface away from obstacles where a helicopter can safely...

s and may have limited facilities such as fuel, lighting, a windsock
Windsock
A windsock is a conical textile tube designed to indicate wind direction and relative wind speed. Windsocks typically are used at airports and at chemical plants where there is risk of gaseous leakage...

, or even hangars. In larger towns and cities, customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

 facilities may be available at a heliport.

The early advocates of helicopters hoped that heliports would become widespread, but they have become contentious in urban area
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

s due to the unpleasant noise caused by helicopter traffic.
In a large metropolis
Metropolis
A metropolis is a very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and communications...

, a heliport can serve passenger
Passenger
A passenger is a term broadly used to describe any person who travels in a vehicle, but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination....

s needing to quickly move within the city or to outlying regions.
Encyclopedia
A heliport is a small airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

 suitable only for use by helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

s. Heliports typically contain one or more helipad
Helipad
Helipad is a common abbreviation for helicopter landing pad, a landing area for helicopters. While helicopters are able to operate on a variety of relatively flat surfaces, a fabricated helipad provides a clearly marked hard surface away from obstacles where a helicopter can safely...

s and may have limited facilities such as fuel, lighting, a windsock
Windsock
A windsock is a conical textile tube designed to indicate wind direction and relative wind speed. Windsocks typically are used at airports and at chemical plants where there is risk of gaseous leakage...

, or even hangars. In larger towns and cities, customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

 facilities may be available at a heliport.

The early advocates of helicopters hoped that heliports would become widespread, but they have become contentious in urban area
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

s due to the unpleasant noise caused by helicopter traffic.

Purpose

In a large metropolis
Metropolis
A metropolis is a very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and communications...

, a heliport can serve passenger
Passenger
A passenger is a term broadly used to describe any person who travels in a vehicle, but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination....

s needing to quickly move within the city or to outlying regions. Generally heliports can be situated closer to a town or city centre than an airport for fixed-wing aircraft
Fixed-wing aircraft
A fixed-wing aircraft is an aircraft capable of flight using wings that generate lift due to the vehicle's forward airspeed. Fixed-wing aircraft are distinct from rotary-wing aircraft in which wings rotate about a fixed mast and ornithopters in which lift is generated by flapping wings.A powered...

. The advantage in flying by helicopter to a destination or even to the city's main airport is that travel can be much faster than driving
Driving
Driving is the controlled operation and movement of a land vehicle, such as a car, truck or bus.Although direct operation of a bicycle and a mounted animal are commonly referred to as riding, such operators are legally considered drivers and are required to obey the rules of the road...

. As an example, the Downtown Manhattan Heliport
Downtown Manhattan Heliport
The Downtown Manhattan Heliport , also known as the Downtown Manhattan/Wall St. Heliport, is a helicopter landing platform at Pier 6 in the East River in Manhattan, New York.- History :...

 in New York City provides scheduled service to John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

 and is used to move wealthy persons and important goods quickly to destinations as far away as Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

.

Some skyscraper
Skyscraper
A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building of many stories, often designed for office and commercial use. There is no official definition or height above which a building may be classified as a skyscraper...

s feature rooftop helipad
Helipad
Helipad is a common abbreviation for helicopter landing pad, a landing area for helicopters. While helicopters are able to operate on a variety of relatively flat surfaces, a fabricated helipad provides a clearly marked hard surface away from obstacles where a helicopter can safely...

s or heliports to serve the transport needs of executives or clients. The U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 is an example. Police departments use heliports as a base for police helicopter
Police helicopter
A police aircraft is an airplane, helicopter, powered paraglider, or blimpused in police operations. They are commonly used for traffic control, ground support, search and rescue, high-speed car pursuits, observation, air patrol and riot control...

s, and larger department may have a dedicated one such as the LAPD Hooper Heliport
LAPD Hooper Heliport
LAPD Hooper Heliport is a city-owned private-use heliport located one nautical mile southwest of the central business district of Los Angeles, in Los Angeles County, California, United States....

.

Helipads are common features at hospital
Hospital
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

s where they serve to facilitate MEDEVAC
MEDEVAC
Medical evacuation, often termed Medevac or Medivac, is the timely and efficient movement and en route care provided by medical personnel to the wounded being evacuated from the battlefield or to injured patients being evacuated from the scene of an accident to receiving medical facilities using...

s or air ambulance
Air ambulance
An air ambulance is an aircraft used for emergency medical assistance in situations where either a traditional ambulance cannot reach the scene easily or quickly enough, or the patient needs to be transported over a distance or terrain that makes air transportation the most practical transport....

 transfers of patients to trauma
Physical trauma
Trauma refers to "a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident." It can also be described as "a physical wound or injury, such as a fracture or blow." Major trauma can result in secondary complications such as circulatory shock, respiratory failure and death...

 units or to accept patients from remote areas without local hospitals or facilities capable of providing the level of emergency care required. In urban
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 environments, these heliports are typically located on the roof of the hospital.

Numbering

Heliports have no orientation and are not numbered in a standard fashion like runway
Runway
According to ICAO a runway is a "defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and take-off of aircraft." Runways may be a man-made surface or a natural surface .- Orientation and dimensions :Runways are named by a number between 01 and 36, which is generally one tenth...

s. In some US cities it is standard to paint the maximum allowable weight of a helicopter in thousands of pounds. Thus, a 12 in a circle designates that the maximum landing weight is 12,000 lbs.

Some Canadian hospital heliports have a cross and some have the letter "H" in the middle.

Lighting

Heliport lighting normally consists of a circle or square of inset lights around the surface called the TLOF (touchdown and lift-off area) and another around the overall landing
Landing
thumb|A [[Mute Swan]] alighting. Note the ruffled feathers on top of the wings indicate that the swan is flying at the [[Stall |stall]]ing speed...

 area called the FATO (final approach and takeoff area). The later encompasses the TLOF as well and the lights may be elevated or inset. Both sets of lights are now recommended to be green by the International Civil Aviation Organization
International Civil Aviation Organization
The International Civil Aviation Organization , pronounced , , is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth...

 and Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

. Yellow (amber) was the former standard and is still preferred in many locations. There is a great deal of variance in color depending on the owner and jurisdiction. These lights were traditionally incandescent but are now increasingly light-emitting diode
Light-emitting diode
A light-emitting diode is a semiconductor light source. LEDs are used as indicator lamps in many devices and are increasingly used for other lighting...

s with brightness control. The TLOF and FATO lights may be supplemented with surface flood lights. A lighted wind cone is necessary. At ground-based locations, a row of lead-in lights in the preferred direction of approach is sometimes used. Visual slope guidance system
Guidance system
A guidance system is a device or group of devices used to navigate a ship, aircraft, missile, rocket, satellite, or other craft. Typically, this refers to a system that navigates without direct or continuous human control...

s (such as HAPI, PAPI, etc.) are recommended in both ICAO and FAA documents but are rarely deployed due to the high cost relative to the rest of the lighting system. While airports commonly use 6.6A direct current
Direct current
Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by such sources as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through...

 power, heliport lighting is normally AC power
AC power
Power in an electric circuit is the rate of flow of energy past a given point of the circuit. In alternating current circuits, energy storage elements such as inductance and capacitance may result in periodic reversals of the direction of energy flow...

ed. Radio control of the lighting by the pilot via an automated ground-based controller
Pilot Controlled Lighting
Pilot Controlled Lighting , also known as Aircraft Radio Control of Aerodrome Lighting or Pilot Activated Lighting , is a system which allows aircraft pilots to control the lighting of an airport or airfield's approach lights, runway edge lights, and taxiways via radio. At some airfields, the...

 is also common.

See also

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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