Regulations Regarding Flights Over Charted National Park Service Areas

All_In

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How many helicopter pilots living in large cities can base their aircraft at their house or business?
How many cannot and why?

My experience is at airports and FWs. But all the helicopter pilots, living in cities, I know or have met in my life none of them could or did base their helicopter at their home or business.

NONE, why is that?

Do you guys just like to pay rent at airports, or is there some law that prevents it?

I know people who live in elsewhere areas who base FW's and helicopters on their farm/home or business. But none who live in the city.
 
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Tyger

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A recent example of NIMBYism as applies to helicopters landing on private property in my area:
Bennett ... operated the helipad illegally for two years, taking off and landing [on his own property] without Town approval, about 15 times, Svenson said. Bennett has proposed to the Planning Board that he would increase that volume more than three-fold, taking off and landing about once a week, or 50 times a year. He claimed at a Planning Board meeting in October that he was not aware of Red Hook’s restrictions, citing a New York State law that permits helipad activity on private properties of 10 acres or more—not the 50-acre minimum Red Hook requires.
And a decade ago, Jann Wenner, the publisher of Rolling Stone magazine who once owned a 63-acre property in nearby Tivoli, was denied a helipad by the town of Red Hook due, in part, to the possible disturbance of nearby American bald eagle nests.

A more famous NY case, which made the Wall Street Journal a couple of years ago:
Four private helipads sit among roughly 185 households on this small island about 40 miles east of Midtown Manhattan on the northern coast of Long Island. A helicopter flight home from Manhattan can take less than 15 minutes. By contrast, driving in evening rush hour can take about two hours.
Chopper opponents, however, say noisy copters disturb the area’s tranquil beauty, hurt shore birds, cut property values and endanger the public. The mayor says they have a point.
“I was on several tours in Vietnam,” Mr. Schmidlapp says. Helicopters are “really nasty. I’ve seen them crash. They go down like rocks.” (There haven’t been crashes on the island.)
 
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All_In

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I am surprised that Jim and Brian are telling us it is mostly legal in so many cities.
By observing all the helicopters forced to be based at airports, and not knowing any helipads at personal residents, I thought it was common sense that in large cities they had to mostly fly from airport to airport just like FWers.
If I'm wrong Jim or Brian please teach me the reality of helicopter ownership and how I can land at my house and I will buy one.
 

Mayfield

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I am surprised that Jim and Brian are telling us it is mostly legal in so many cities.
I can't speak for Brian. As for me, I simply comment that your generalizations were not founded in fact. I did not say "it is mostly legal in so many cities". Indeed, CalTrans has regulations on heliports in all California incorporated areas ( https://dot.ca.gov/programs/aeronautics/heliport-permits)

As Tyler points out many cases are decided individually.

In my case, I no longer own my Brantly and I do not have the approach slope minimums to my property required by common sense.
 

All_In

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I can't speak for Brian. As for me, I simply comment that your generalizations were not founded in fact. I did not say "it is mostly legal in so many cities". Indeed, CalTrans has regulations on heliports in all California incorporated areas ( https://dot.ca.gov/programs/aeronautics/heliport-permits)

As Tyler points out many cases are decided individually.

In my case, I no longer own my Brantly and I do not have the approach slope minimums to my property required by common sense.
What Tyler pointed out is exactly what I've been saying. They find a way to prevent most of us from landing at our homes.
Please explain...
All I said was in most large cities they have to land at airports just like FWer and there is no advantage.
How is this incorrect in any way??? I wish to learn!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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Tyger

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All I said was in most large cities they have to land at airports just like FWer and there is no advantage.
How is this incorrect in any way???
Most large cities do have heliports/helipads that allow helicopters to land where airplanes cannot.
I would say this is common knowledge.
This is how Billy Joel can get from his house on Long Island to Madison Square Garden in about twenty minutes...
 

Tyger

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The way I interpret this new regulation we now have to ask permission to land in the Ca's High Sierra mountains. Something we used to do for fly-in backpacking/fishing trips.
I don't think this is a new regulation, actually.
The Noise Policy for Management of Airspace Over Federally Managed Areas, issued November 8, 1996, states that it is the policy of the FAA in its management of the navigable airspace over these locations to exercise leadership in achieving an appropriate balance between efficiency, technological practicability, and environmental
concerns, while maintaining the highest level of safety.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) receives complaints concerning low flying aircraft over noise sensitive areas such as National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, Waterfowl Production Areas and Wilderness Areas. Congress addressed aircraft flights over Grand Canyon National Park in Public Law 100-91 and commercial air tour operations over other units of the National Park System (and tribal lands within or abutting such units) in the National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000.
 
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All_In

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Most large cities do have heliports/helipads that allow helicopters to land where airplanes cannot.
I would say this is common knowledge.
This is how Billy Joel can get from his house on Long Island to Madison Square Garden in about twenty minutes...
Maybe NY, and or back east.
But in CA = San Diego only the top of skyscrapers have helipads but they are not open to the public.
I do not know of any public helipads that are off-airports out here and that is/was common knowledge until now.
I'll wait for all the helicopter pilots to share how they can land at their houses in a large city before I believe the majority can operate off the airport for most of their flights. I've not heard or read those stories or seen it happen out here.
 

All_In

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Well crap, I guess I'll have to research it myself it appears no one really knows.
https://dot.ca.gov/programs/aeronautics/heliport-permits

This is going to take a while.
Here is the first part of it. SEE #4 below personal use helipads!

Jim here is the site you asked me for to prove which of us knows more about landing helicopters in CA.

Heliport Permitting​

As a general rule, it is unlawful to operate a heliport in the State of California without a State Heliport Permit. State Heliport Permit requirements are promulgated in the California Public Utilities Code (PUC), Section 21001 et seq., otherwise known as the State Aeronautics Act, and the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 21, Sections 3525-3560, Airports and Heliports. Note that unless specified in the law otherwise, Airport = Heliport (PUC 21013 says that aircraft use airports. Helicopters meet the PUC 21012 definition of aircraft, so heliports are just airports for helicopters. CCR 3525 specifically states the term "airport" shall apply equally to heliports unless specified for "airports only" or "heliports only"). This page is intended to provide permitting guidelines, exemptions, and the procedures necessary to obtain and maintain a State Heliport Permit for a heliport in California.

Permit Enacting Statute – PUC 21663​

Operation Without a Permit – It is unlawful for any political subdivision, any of its officers or employees, or any person to operate an airport (heliport) unless an appropriate airport (heliport) permit required by rule of the Department has been issued by the Department and has not subsequently been revoked.

Permit Exemptions​

  • Pursuant to Public Utilities Code (PUC) 21662 and California Code of Regulations (CCR) 3533, the following types of heliports are exempt from State Heliport Permit requirements:
  1. Heliports owned or operated by the United States Government.
  2. Agricultural heliports – heliports restricted to use only by agricultural aerial applicator aircraft (FAR Part 137 operators).
  3. Seaplane landing sites (for helicopters).
  4. Personal-use heliports in unincorporated areas which meet the requirements of Article 5 of CCR 3560. (Just as I was told and shared with all of you!!! Only can get a permit in unincorporated areas) Oceanside is not unincorporated and that was an illegal landing Jim.
  5. “Grandfathered” heliports which were established and are currently being used under an exemption granted under previous Department regulations. These heliports shall continue to be exempt, provided the use and conditions of the exemption continue to be met. These heliports shall be marked in accordance with CCR 3560(e).
  6. Heliports established on offshore oil platforms.
  7. Temporary helicopter landing sites that are not within 1000 feet of the boundary of a public or private school maintaining kindergarten classes or any classes in grades 1 through 12 (see California Heliport Definitions).
  8. Emergency medical services (EMS) landing sites (see California Heliport Definitions).
  9. Emergency use facilities (see California Heliport Definitions).
Note:

  1. An owner of an exempt heliport may apply for a permit under these regulations.
  2. The above-listed exemptions do not supersede or negate any requirements of Federal agencies or local government jurisdictions.
  3. A heliport's exemption ceases if the heliport's owner no longer operates the heliport within the limitations of the exemption.
  4. A separate heliport permit is not required for a designated heliport located within the boundaries of a permitted airport if the heliport meets heliport design standards as described in Article 4 of the CCR (Sections 3550, 3552, 3554).
    (However, for these “on airport” heliports, the Department needs to approve the proposed heliport. See the Site Approval section for more information.)
 
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Tyger

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Maybe NY, and or back east.
But in CA = San Diego only the top of skyscrapers have helipads but they are not open to the public.
They used to let helicopters land in Manhattan on the PanAm building – right over Grand Central Station – until this happened:

Now the only Manhattan heliports are at the edges of the Hudson and East rivers.
 
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All_In

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In Ca as I said only in unincorporated areas.
Personal-use heliports in unincorporated areas which meet the requirements of Article 5 of CCR 3560. (Just as I was told by CA helicopter pilots and shared with all of you on in unincorporated areas in CA!!!)
 

Tyger

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But where does it say a landing has to be at a heliport (or airport) to be legal?

And what about this exemption?
the following types of heliports are exempt from State Heliport Permit requirements... Temporary helicopter landing sites that are not within 1000 feet of the boundary of a public or private school maintaining kindergarten classes or any classes in grades 1 through 12.
 

Mayfield

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But where does it say a landing has to be at a heliport (or airport) to be legal?

And what about this exemption?
the following types of heliports are exempt from State Heliport Permit requirements... Temporary helicopter landing sites that are not within 1000 feet of the boundary of a public or private school maintaining kindergarten classes or any classes in grades 1 through 12.
Precisely.
 

All_In

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I don't think this is a new regulation, actually.
The Noise Policy for Management of Airspace Over Federally Managed Areas, issued November 8, 1996, states that it is the policy of the FAA in its management of the navigable airspace over these locations to exercise leadership in achieving an appropriate balance between efficiency, technological practicability, and environmental
concerns, while maintaining the highest level of safety.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) receives complaints concerning low flying aircraft over noise sensitive areas such as National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, Waterfowl Production Areas and Wilderness Areas. Congress addressed aircraft flights over Grand Canyon National Park in Public Law 100-91 and commercial air tour operations over other units of the National Park System (and tribal lands within or abutting such units) in the National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000.
In my over 40 years of flying over parks, this is very new.
1) We did not have to ask permission to land on national forest.
2) There were a few parks like the Grand Cajon and Yosemite that had over-fly ceilings.
3) The others had wildlife areas with ceilings IIRC some less than the new 2000'.
4) We did not have to ask permission to land in a national forest.
 

All_In

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But where does it say a landing has to be at a heliport (or airport) to be legal?

And what about this exemption?
the following types of heliports are exempt from State Heliport Permit requirements... Temporary helicopter landing sites that are not within 1000 feet of the boundary of a public or private school maintaining kindergarten classes or any classes in grades 1 through 12.
All I know is, in CA, it must be very hard to get a permit or there would not be so few helicopter pads marked on our charts.
And there would be very few helicopters flying out of our airport and paying rent if they could get a permit, many of my friends have huge homes.
 

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And they would not be complaining to us that they have to basically fly from airport to airport like fixed-wingers.
 

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In Ca as I said only in unincorporated areas.
Personal-use heliports in unincorporated areas which meet the requirements of Article 5 of CCR 3560. (Just as I was told by CA helicopter pilots and shared with all of you on in unincorporated areas in CA!!!)
You are misreading this provision.

It says you can get an EXEMPTION from the state permit requirements in unincorporated areas.

If you are in an incorporated area, you are not exempt, and must get a permit. It does NOT say that permits are unavailable in incorporated areas, just that you must get one.
 

All_In

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You are misreading this provision.

It says you can get an EXEMPTION from the state permit requirements in unincorporated areas.

If you are in an incorporated area, you are not exempt, and must get a permit. It does NOT say that permits are unavailable in incorporated areas, just that you must get one.
I must have written it badly.
Yes, I agree 100% you can get an exemption only in unincorporated areas. That is what I was told.

And I was told they have tried to get a permit and were all denied.

From the document as I said in CA
= As a general rule, it is unlawful to operate a heliport in the State of California without a State Heliport Permit.
Oceanside is incorporated for years and I do not know of any legal helipads, nor have I seen any in Carlsbad.
 

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Oh, hearsay was correct too about it being a State law/ permitting process, not local law although they have those too if you ever get a permit from CA the city will take it away... Seem to be the case.
 

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The state regulations do not allow arbitrary decisions based upon local whim or prejudices. The standards are explicitly set out. If you meet all the standards, you get the state permit. See, for example, this:

ARTICLE 4. DESIGN STANDARDS, HELIPORTS ONLY
3550. GENERAL
(a) The information and standards included in this Article establish minimum
standards for a permitted heliport suitable for a design helicopter.
(b) Design standards for a permitted heliport shall be in accordance with FAA ACs.
(c) Obstruction standards and designation of imaginary surfaces related to
heliports shall be in accordance with FAR Part 77.
(d) The Department may grant variances to these design and obstruction
standards. These variances may be granted where reasonable conditions exist
and the interests of the general public will not be compromised.
(e) The Department may require flight demonstrations by the heliport's owner to
assist in determining whether requested variances would affect safety.
3551. HELIPORT DESIGN STANDARDS
As a minimum, the following items are required for a permitted heliport:
(a) final approach and takeoff area (FATO) with:
(1) a length and width or diameter that is at least one and one half times
the overall length of the design helicopter. This area shall be free of objects, to
include safety nets and guard rails, at or above the closest point of the touchdown
and lift-off area (TLOF);
(2) a safety area, surrounding the FATO, that is the greater of one third
times the main rotor diameter of the design helicopter or ten feet; and
(3) a load bearing portion that:
(A) is centered within the FATO and, if the entire FATO is not
load bearing, is delineated as a TLOF. A delineated TLOF shall be at least 1.5
times the undercarriage length or width, whichever is greater, of the design
helicopter;
(B) is free of objects and surface irregularities; and
(C) has a grade that does not exceed 2%. If approved by the
Department, the grade may exceed 2% to allow for a curb around the edges so long as
the curb is tapered so that it does not present a sharp lip that could create a pivot point
for a helicopter’s landing gear. If allowed, this curb shall not exceed two inches in
height;
(b) a wind cone;
(c) at least one clear 8:1 approach surface to the FATO, centered
along an approach/takeoff path;
(d) heliport markings as described in Section 3554(a) of these regulations;
(e) clear 2:1 transitional surfaces to the FATO and approach surfaces; and
(f) if night use is planned, heliport lighting in accordance with Section 3554(b)
of these regulations.
 
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