Heliports and Helideck

A heliport is an area of land, water, or structure used or intended to be used for the landing and takeoff of helicopters, and includes its buildings and facilities.

To conduct nighttime operations at a heliport it must have lighting installed that meets specific aeronautical standards. Heliport perimeter lights are generally installed around the TLOF area an may be flush mounted on the TLOF itself or mounted just off the TLOF perimeter on short metal or concrete extensions. One alternative to lighting the TLOF if certain criteria is met is to light the area of the FATO instead. Some locations, due to environmental conditions, illuminate the TLOF and FATO. Lighting should never constitute an obstruction that a helicopter may impact.

Current standards recommend that all perimeter lighting be green. Prior standards recommended amber lighting for perimeter lights however this wavelength has been shown to interfere with night vision goggle (NVG) operations when used with older incandescent lighting. In the past lighting has been traditionally incandescent but increasingly LEDs are being incorporated due to lower power requirements and increased life. While flood lights may be used to enhance surface operations they should not interfere with flight crew night vision and should be kept off during flight operations and only used when conducting ground movement operations. To conduct night operations a lighted wind cone is also required. At ground-based heliports, lead-in-lights may be incorporated to identify the preferred approach/departure direction.

A helideck is a heliport located on a fixed or floating offshore facility such as an exploration and/or production unit used for the exploitation of oil or gas.

ICAO and CAP437 rules define that if the helicopters also operate during night mode, helidecks must be visible by air through suitable lights.