Planning the construction of helipad is the most important aspect of Helipad development process. While planning a helipad, various aspects need to be considered like:-
- Purpose for which the helipad is required.
- The frequency of use of the helipad.
- Size of the largest helicopter which will be using the helipad.
- Proximity of Airports, Heliports, Helipads in the area.
- Availability of land, Adequate land should be available for construction of helipad, for touchdown and lift off area, final approach and take off area, Safety area and clearways, parking of vehicles and wind direction locator..
- Type of surface.
- Obstructions around the helipad.
- Accessibility to the helipad platform for passengers, refueler, fire tenders, ambulances.
- Proximity of Prohibited, Restricted and Danger areas.
- Meteorological conditions like wind direction during different seasons of the year.
Design of the helipad will be based on the owner and regulatory requirements. The measurement of the helipad will be based on the largest helicopter which is likely to use the helipad. The pathway leading to the helipad and for towing the helicopter to the parking space in the hangar will be designed in the most convenient manner to ideally suit the requirement. Design will also include easy accessibility of the helipad for passengers, refuellers, ambulances, fire fighting vehicles etc. Design will take into consideration the ideal location for touchdown and lift off area, final approach and take off area, safety area and clearways keeping in mind the slope of the surface and location of obstructions around.
Helipad lighting, if required, will be incorporated in the design. The position of the wind sock will be based on its visibility from the air and accurate display of wind direction under all weather conditions.
Location of hangar if required will be decided for easy towing in and out of the helicopter from helipad to hangar and vice versa.
The size of the helipad will depend on the type and number of helicopters likely to operate on the helipad. A minimum 6 inch concrete structure is required for the operation of small to medium class helicopters. However for heavy lift helicopters, the requirement will vary according to the weight of the helicopters.
The slope of the helipad should be just enough to drain out the water without any water logging on the helipad and proper drainage of the water should be constructed to keep the area in the close vicinity of the helipad clear of water. Proper marking and lighting if required will be incorporated during or after construction as per the regulatory requirements. The position for the wind sock will be constructed based on the obstructions in the area and wind pattern.
The final approach and take off and safety areas will be level and preferably hard ground. The access roads and parking areas etc will be constructed to provide sufficient strength to bear the weight of the passenger vehicles, ambulances, refuelers and fire tenders etc.
Hangar and access roads if required will be constructed as per the requirement of the owner keeping the regulatory provisions in mind. The security fencing will be constructed at a suitable distance from the helipad if required.