The certification deadline looms for UAE high-rise helipads used for commercial or private use but there may be an exception to the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority's (GCAA) January 2018 deadline, according to a senior government official, a report from Arabian Business said.
“The certification is mandatory for all heliports used for commercial and private use, but we are not talking about heliports that we see on the buildings as they are used for emergency purposes,” GCAA Ismail Mohammed Al Balooshi general aviation safety affairs asistant director said.
“We have, however, established some guidelines for the local municipalities. We have given them a framework that includes amongst many things such as what kind of markings need to be there, removal of obstacles and the helipad not to be used as storage space as many times people tend to do that.”
Certification of helipads in the UAE began in 2012 with almost 90 percent to 95% of the helipads now certified, the report said. The helipad on Burj Al Arab was the first to be certified in the country. In February this year, the GCAA certified the helipad at Atlantis The Palm.
Falcon Aviation Services, the operator of the sightseeing helicopter tours, claims that the Atlantis The Palm has the “busiest commercial helipad in the Middle East”, the report stated
In a report issued by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), only 114 buildings in the world more than 200 metres high were found to have helipads; according to the report, the list includes The Nation Towers Residential Lofts in Abu Dhabi and Burj Al Arab.