Welcome, Autel Pilots!
Join our free Autel drone community today!
Sign up

Airspace Questions: Heliport Airspace Classification, Veritcal Shape and Commercial Use In Proximit

TAMU1996

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
61
Reaction score
41
Age
45
Howdy.

I've been searching online but cannot locate a definitive answer, so any input from the community is appreciated...

First, how is heliport airspace classified, B, C, D or E? If considered Class E, one might be able to operate commercially withing 5 miles of a heliport and apply Class E VFR (up to SFC, 700 or 1,200 ft.).

Related, regarding the 5-mile restricted radius surrounding heliports, does that always extend vertically from SFC to whatever higher limit? Or, is the shape similar to that of a Class B and C airports, an upside down, tiered cake, permitting stepped-altitude limits?

I located the following, but it's not an official FAA source or definition. It is, however, a great system that would permit operation closer to the heliport.

IMG_6063.PNG


Thanks!

--Ryan
 

Flying skymaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
Messages
82
Reaction score
19
Location
Hilton Head , SC
If you are talking about a hospital heliport , I am currently in Nashville , Tenn which has two very busy heliports with around the clock service. They both happen to be under the " umbrella" of Nashville International airspace. Not sure how to figure out that one. I noticed that they are up at least 1500 feet until very close to the hospital.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TAMU1996

TAMU1996

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
61
Reaction score
41
Age
45
Yes, primarily, but southeast Texas is also dotted with numerous civil/energy/private heliports/helipads.

At present, figuring out exactly if and where in their radius I can fly is the only thing standing between me and a paying job.

Thanks.
 

brian bwin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2016
Messages
153
Reaction score
87
Location
Wilmington, DE USA
Website
okvideode.com
At present, figuring out exactly if and where in their radius I can fly is the only thing standing between me and a paying job..
I have only filed for airspace authorization within 5 miles of towered airports. If you are near a busy helipad/port a heads up is probably a good idea but I haven't seen anything for commercial pilots that says you must notify them of your presence (please someone correct me if I'm wrong). It is possible there are certain heliports that have different airspace classifications so it would be important to verify that on knowbeforeyoufly.org or airmap.io to make sure. The airmap app will tell you what type of airspace you're looking at.

Common sense can help determine what is a good radius and altitude (i.e. flying to 400 feet 100 yards from the pad versus doing a real estate job at 100 feet 3 miles away) and a visual observer provides an additional set of eyes and ears that aren't focused on flying the drone to make sure you yield to manned aircraft as required.

There was nothing on the part 107 test or study material on that
Yup! Heliports/pads weren't even mentioned on any materials I saw either.
 

Agustine

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
Messages
5,015
Reaction score
3,148
Location
Northern Ontario
There is a facebook page called UAV Legal news and discussion. Its full of cracker jack type of people that would answer your question I'm pretty sure.

Sent from my LG-D852 using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: TAMU1996

TAMU1996

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
61
Reaction score
41
Age
45
Thanks, Agustine and Brian, for the input.

I guess I can't break a specific reg if there is no specific reg. I may be on a wild-goose chase...

I'll check out that FB page.

Thanks, again.
 

DroneDriver

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2017
Messages
186
Reaction score
71
Location
Northern DE
Howdy.

I've been searching online but cannot locate a definitive answer, so any input from the community is appreciated...

First, how is heliport airspace classified, B, C, D or E? If considered Class E, one might be able to operate commercially withing 5 miles of a heliport and apply Class E VFR (up to SFC, 700 or 1,200 ft.).

Related, regarding the 5-mile restricted radius surrounding heliports, does that always extend vertically from SFC to whatever higher limit? Or, is the shape similar to that of a Class B and C airports, an upside down, tiered cake, permitting stepped-altitude limits?

I located the following, but it's not an official FAA source or definition. It is, however, a great system that would permit operation closer to the heliport.

View attachment 442


Thanks!

--Ryan
Howdy.

I've been searching online but cannot locate a definitive answer, so any input from the community is appreciated...

First, how is heliport airspace classified, B, C, D or E? If considered Class E, one might be able to operate commercially withing 5 miles of a heliport and apply Class E VFR (up to SFC, 700 or 1,200 ft.).

Related, regarding the 5-mile restricted radius surrounding heliports, does that always extend vertically from SFC to whatever higher limit? Or, is the shape similar to that of a Class B and C airports, an upside down, tiered cake, permitting stepped-altitude limits?

I located the following, but it's not an official FAA source or definition. It is, however, a great system that would permit operation closer to the heliport.

View attachment 442


Thanks!

--Ryan

Ryan, i'm going to take a stab at this since my occupation requires constant interpretation of the FARs. First of all, if I am reading your post correctly, you are operating under part 107 as a commercial UAV operator not a hobbyist. There are a couple things going on here that may be creating confusion for you. I think you are confusing commercial operations and hobby operations with respect to part 107. Secondly, heliports can be operating under different alphabet airspace requiring different rules of operation.
If you're operating as a hobbyist then you are restricted from operating a drone within five nautical miles of an airport. But if you're flying UAVs as a commercial operator, the regulation is pretty clear:
14 CFR 107.43 - Operation in the vicinity of airports - No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft in a manner that interferes with operations and traffic patterns at any airport, heliport, or seaplane base.
As for heliports and airspace respective of the aforementioned 107.43: if it is within class G no big deal. Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC permission. However, if the heliport is in Class B, C, D and E airspace requires ATC permission in the form of a waiver.
14 CFR 107.41 - Operation in certain airspace - No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft in Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport unless that person has prior authorization from Air Traffic Control (ATC). Again, a waiver.
You can see this from the attached photo of a sectional chart of Dallas. The heliports are within different airspace.
Please checkout the following links: 14 CFR Part 107, Subpart B - Operating Rules

https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/phak/media/17_phak_ch15.pdf
I hope this helps?
IMG_1043.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: brian bwin

TAMU1996

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
61
Reaction score
41
Age
45
Ryan, i'm going to take a stab at this since my occupation requires constant interpretation of the FARs. First of all, if I am reading your post correctly, you are operating under part 107 as a commercial UAV operator not a hobbyist.
Your are correct, sir; licensed and insured for commercial work.

There are a couple things going on here that may be creating confusion for you. I think you are confusing commercial operations and hobby operations with respect to part 107. Secondly, heliports can be operating under different alphabet airspace requiring different rules of operation.
If you're operating as a hobbyist then you are restricted from operating a drone within five nautical miles of an airport. But if you're flying UAVs as a commercial operator, the regulation is pretty clear:
14 CFR 107.43 - Operation in the vicinity of airports - No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft in a manner that interferes with operations and traffic patterns at any airport, heliport, or seaplane base.
As for heliports and airspace respective of the aforementioned 107.43: if it is within class G no big deal. Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC permission. However, if the heliport is in Class B, C, D and E airspace requires ATC permission in the form of a waiver.


14 CFR 107.41 - Operation in certain airspace - No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft in Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport unless that person has prior authorization from Air Traffic Control (ATC). Again, a waiver.
You can see this from the attached photo of a sectional chart of Dallas. The heliports are within different airspace.
It does help, thank you.

I use sectional charts and multiple apps (love SkyVector) & websites, cross-referencing, to confirm the airspace when scouting jobs.

I am overly-cautious and this certainly helps allay some of my concerns about operating near heliports. In this case, flying in the location I'll be at shouldn't be a problem.

Here's the approximate job location. The "KINGWOOD (Unverified)" site is what gave me pause. I live in the area and know that this hospital pad is operational, as much as "NORTHEAST's."

NEH Helimap.PNG

I appreciate all the thorough assistance here on the forums. THANK YOU!

--Ryan
 
Last edited:

Delta Blue

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2016
Messages
200
Reaction score
81
Location
U.S.A.
Website
lueb-art.pixels.com
Since it does not show up as Class B,C,D or E, it should be given the respect of a Class G. In other words, give yourself as much space away from it as possible and watch for aircraft in and out of it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TAMU1996

Latest threads

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
4,412
Messages
41,915
Members
2,788
Latest member
7tronics