4.4. Helipads. Helipads allow for a helicopter hovering, landing, and take-off. Except at facilities where
helicopter runways are provided, helipads are the landing and take-off locations for helicopters. The Army
and Air Force provide for three types of helipads: Standard Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Helipad; Limited
Use Helipad; and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Helipad. The Navy and Marine Corps only provide one
type of helipad: Standard Size Helipad. The type of helipad depends on the following operational
4.4.1. Standard VFR Helipad. VFR design standards are used when no requirement exists or will exist
in the future for an IFR helipad. Criteria for this type of helipad permit the accommodation of most
helipad lighting systems.
4.4.2. Limited Use Helipad. This is a VFR facility used at sites where only occasional operations are
conducted. These sites may be, but are not limited to, hospitals, headquarter areas, missile sites, and
established airfields or heliports where the Limited-Use Helipad may be used to preclude mixing
helicopters and fixed-wing traffic. Limited Use Helipads may also be used to separate light helicopter
traffic (5,670 kg [12,500 lbs] or less) from medium and heavy helicopter traffic.
4.4.3. IFR Helipad. IFR design standards are used when an instrument approach capability is essential
to the mission and no other instrument landing facilities, either fixed-wing or rotary-wing, are located
within an acceptable commuting distance to the site.
4.4.4. Helipad Location. A helipad location should be selected with regard to mission requirements,
overall facility development, approach-departure surfaces, and local wind conditions.
184.108.40.206. Near Runways. When a helipad is to be located near fixed- and rotary-wing runways, its
location should be based on type of operations, in accordance with criteria in Table 4.1.
220.127.116.11. Above Ground Helipads. Construction of helipads on buildings or on any type of
elevated structure above ground is not authorized for Air Force and Army. For these agencies,
helipads will be constructed as a slab on grade. For Navy and Marine Corps facilities, contact the
agency aviation office with safety waiver approval if deviation is required.
18.104.22.168. Parking Pads. At individual helipad sites where it is necessary to have one or more
helicopters on standby, an area adjacent to the helipad, but clear of the landing approach and
transitional surfaces, should be designated for standby parking. This area will be designed as a
parking apron in conformance with the criteria presented in Chapter 6.
4.4.5. Dimensional Criteria. Table 4.2 presents dimensional criteria for the layout and design of
Table 4.2. Rotary-Wing Helipads and Hoverpoints.
Air Force and Army VFR limited use helipads.
15 m x 15 m
[50 ft x50 ft]
Standard VFR and IFR helipad.
30 m x 30 m
[100 ft x[100 ft]