Saturday, July 18, 2009

How to Put Up a Heliport – Part 1: Terminology Used

There will be terms that will be used all throughout heliport topics. These terms are similar with the ones used by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). When these terms are used, they have the meanings given below.

Aiming point means a triangular marking, displayed on a FATO, to which point a pilot is required to make the final approach before proceeding to a TALO.

Air taxiway means a defined path on the surface established for the air taxiing of helicopters.

Approach means a series of predetermined maneuvers for the orderly transfer of a helicopter to a point either where a landing may be made or where a helicopter may drop, off-load or pick up persons or load of any description.

Elevated heliport means a heliport located on a raised structure on land.

Final approach and take-off area (FATO) means a defined area over which the final phase of the approach maneuver to hover or landing is completed and from which the takeoff maneuver is commenced and, where the FATO is to be used by performance Class 1 helicopters, includes the rejected takeoff area available.

Helicopter stand means an aircraft stand which provides for parking a helicopter and, where air taxiing operations are contemplated, the helicopter touch-down and lift-off.

Helideck means a heliport located on a floating or fixed off-shore structure.

Heliport means an aerodrome or a defined area on a structure intended to be used wholly or in part for the arrival, departure and surface movement of helicopters.

Obstacle limitation surfaces means surfaces extending outwards and upwards from the FATO or safety area at angles compatible with the flight characteristics of the helicopter, used to evaluate approach and takeoff climb surfaces for clearance of obstacles.

Obstacle means all fixed (whether temporary or permanent) and mobile objects, or parts thereof, that are located on an area intended for the surface movement of the helicopter or that extend above a defined surface intended to protect helicopter in flight.

Overall helicopter length means the maximum length or width, whichever is greater, of a helicopter including its rotors. The overall length is measured, when the rotors are turning, from the tip of the main rotor to the tip of the tail rotor or tail boom (for tail rotor less helicopter). In the case of a tandem rotor helicopter where its width is usually longer than its length, the measurement will be sideways, from the tip of the left rotor to the tip of the right rotor or vice-versa, when rotors are turnings.

Performance Class 1 helicopter means a helicopter with performance such that, in case of critical engine failure, it is able to land on the rejected takeoff area or safely continue the flight to an appropriate landing area, depending on when the failure occurs.

Performance Class 2 helicopter means a helicopter with performance such that, in case of critical power-unit failure, it is able to safely continue the flight, except when the failure occurs prior to a defined point after take-off or after a defined point before landing, in which cases a forced landing may be required.

Performance Class 3 helicopter means a helicopter with performance such that, in case of power-unit failure at any point in the flight profile, a forced landing must be performed.

Safety area means a defined area on a heliport surrounding the FATO which is free of obstacles, other than those required for air navigation purposes, and intended to reduce the risk of damage to helicopters accidentally diverging from the FATO. It should be capable of supporting the weight of a helicopter.

Surface level heliport means a heliport located on the ground or on the water.

Touchdown and lift-off area (TALO) means a load bearing area on which a helicopter may touchdown or lift-off.

Next -> Part 2: Site Selection


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