ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
The pace of increase in the number of heliports in Turkey is set to accelerate as there are 138 license applications to build and operate heliports.
The number of heliports has more than doubled in the last decade in Turkey, according to the general manager of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
The number increased from 21 in 2002 to 48 today, Bilal Ekşi said yesterday, adding that 14 of the new helipads were atop high buildings.
Some 138 license applications – 64 of which are for skyscrapers – to open new heliports are currently being processed, he said, noting that it was a sign of rapid high-rise building developments and increasing helicopter ownership in the country.
The directorate has initiated two projects, namely “One Heliport in Every District” and “One Heliport on top of Every Skyscraper.” The projects aim to enhance rescue services, evacuations in the event of natural disasters or fires and facilitate ambulance services.
The Health Ministry is currently conducting studies to determine which hospitals might be appropriate for new heliport spots as part of the Ambulance Helicopter Project.
Studies regarding the construction of urgent take-off and landing spots along highways are also continuing, Ekşi said.
The directorate has provided the private sector with translations of international documents on heliport building and management to ensure the heliports are constructed according to international standards, he said. Most spots that helicopters land at and take off from in Turkey are in fact helipads lacking the features of full-fledged large heliports such as maintenance and bunkering, he said.