Terms and Conditions of Use
This document should be read in conjunction with:
1. Operating Hours
Monday – Friday: 08:00 – 19:00 Normally, a minimum of 4 hours notice is required.
Saturday: 09:00 – 17:00 by prior arrangement. 24 hours notice is required.
Sunday: 10:00 – 16:00 by prior arrangement. 48 hours notice is required.
Public Holidays – By arrangement.
Falcon London Heliport is an unlicensed heliport, with minimal RFFS facilities.
See Fees and Charges
The Heliport may also be used outside of the normal hours of operation, at an additional charge. If you have any questions regarding our operating hours, please contact us.
Falcon London Heliport follows a strict set of procedures, as set out by the Civil Aviation Authority (“CAA”). Commercial (AOC) Operators must have the ability to Hover Outside of Ground Effect (HOGE) with One Engine Inoperative (OEI). This restriction is not applicable to private or corporate flights.
Please make sure that you have supplied us with the Insurance Form, including the signed Terms and Conditions of Use document. You must also obtain permission to land in a congested area from the UK CAA.
It is a requirement that operators using the heliport for the first time, arrange a pre-visit to acquaint themselves with approaches, surrounding buildings and hazards in order to satisfy themselves of its suitability for their use.
Until further notice, applications for CAA permission to land at Falcon London Heliport should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org (use form 1843).
The process requires that a Risk Assessment accompanies the application. This is referred to on the form. Permissions are normally valid for one year.
As the area adjacent to the Heliport is heavily congested and residential, we request that all pilots arrange their flight path, such that it minimises noise for our neighbours. Engine running on the pad is to be kept to an absolute minimum.
Extended Hours of Operation
Please enquiry about any operational requirements outside of these hours – see also Fees and Charges
2. Contact Details
Tel +44 (0)20 3302 0750 will divert to the Operations Manager out of hours.
Ops Email email@example.com
Ops Mobile +44 (0)7973 757621
2.1 Location and Directions
Map of general location and specific location.
Access in and out of the City is easy via the Falcon London Heliport.
0.9 miles to Canary Wharf
2.8 miles to the ExCeL Centre
3.3 miles to Liverpool Street Station
3.9 miles to London City Airport & the O2 Arena
5.4 miles to Piccadilly Circus
The nearest tube station is Canary Wharf (Jubilee Line). The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) Mudchute Station is 0.5 miles from the site. There is a bus service just outside the front gate with the D7, 135, 277 running every five minutes to Canary Wharf. The Thames Clipper Riverboat Service operates from Masthouse Terrace Pier regularly to Westminster, stopping at other locations en-route. Masthouse Terrace Pier is 570m from the Heliport.
We are at:
Falcon London Heliport
188 Westferry Road
Isle of Dogs
London E14 3RY
Tel: +44 (0)20 3302 0750
The dimensions of the Heliport are:
Width: 38m parallel to the River Thames
Depth: 30m perpendicular to the River Thames
A comfortable lounge is located adjacent to the apron, offering Pilot and Passenger facilities.
3. Local Regulations
3.1 Final Approach and Take-Off
The Heliport is directly adjacent to the River Thames, which is tidal. For the purposes of flight operations, the Falcon London Heliport is considered to be “elevated” during its operational opening hours. Operators should therefore ensure that they comply with the requirements for operating to an elevated heliport, with specific operating criteria, and where appropriate, have been granted an approval by the Civil Aviation Authority to do so.
3.2 Approved Pilots
Only approved pilots may use Falcon London Heliport. All pilots wishing to use the Heliport must have first conducted a familiarisation flight to the heliport with a previously approved pilot and receive a full briefing from the Heliport Operations Manager. The heliport procedures must always be complied with. In order to be approved, all pilots must have signed the acknowledgement slip of the current edition of the Conditions of Use which must also be counter-signed by the approving pilot.
Due to the confined space, operations at the Heliport require authorisation for all manoeuvres from the HLO. (e.g. engine/rotor starts).
3.4 Heliport Area Access
All airside access is subject to permission from Falcon London Heliport staff. Only persons wearing high-visibility clothing will be permitted unattended airside access (in the case of aircrew or contractors).
All other airside access (to persons not wearing high-visibility clothing) will only be permitted with a heliport-staff escort, or the pilot of the helicopter. These steps are necessary for compliance with Falcon London Heliport’s safety policy. We would appreciate your assistance and co-operation in implementing this.
Vehicles given permission to drive air-side, must not exceed 10 mph. Vehicles must use hazard light and stop at the top of the ramp. Under no circumstances should vehicles proceed any further, without the express authorisation of a Heliport member of staff.
If on foot, the ramp area can be slippery in adverse weather conditions. Pedestrians should exercise extreme care. At the bottom of the ramp there is an electronic security gate, controlled by Heliport staff, via CCTV. There is a call button on both sides of the gate.
3.5 Embarkation/Disembarkation of Passengers
The Embarkation/disembarkation is only to be carried out with the assistance of the heliport ground crew, or pilot/crew of the helicopter. Aircrew must also brief passengers of inbound helicopters to remain seated and not attempt disembarkation themselves, especially from rotors-running helicopters, until the pilot/crew or heliport staff are able to escort them safely away from the aircraft. This is irrespective of how familiar the passengers may be with the aircraft.
Owners/operators of helicopters that are not equipped with a rotor-brake (or having a rotor-brake not serviceable) must advise operations of this at the time of booking. Aircrew should not exit the helicopter, or leave it unattended until the rotors, have ceased turning.
3.7 Rotor down wash / Main-rotor tie-downs
Due to the confined nature of the Heliport and to protect aircraft from damage due to rotor down wash from an adjacent aircraft, we recommend that all operators have a rotor tie down kit available.
3.8 Aircraft Parking – mechanical handling
Aircrew must be in attendance to supervise all mechanical handling.
3.9 Mobile Telephones
Mobile telephones are not to be used whilst airside. Aircrew or Operations staff are asked to brief passengers of this prior to their arrival at the Heliport.
3.10 Security – Access Control & Identity verification
Security procedures are in place for the safety of our staff and customers. Access to the heliport is controlled and restricted; therefore all customers should comply with any requests for proof of identity or the screening of their luggage. Bags should not be left unattended at any time
To aid identification and security we recommend that you pass the booking reference and slot details to support staff or drivers that are meeting or dropping off customers at the Heliport.
3.11 Security – Overnight Parking of Aircraft
Whilst Falcon London Heliport is secured overnight and CCTV is in operation, operators of aircraft that are parked overnight should ensure they have suitable insurance in place to do so.
3.12 Dangerous Goods
Operators/pilots must advise Heliport staff, in advance, of any dangerous goods (e.g. ammunition) to be carried on flights and to ensure that they are correctly transported. Falcon London Heliport is to be specifically advised in cases where ammunition is to be carried. Owners of guns are responsible at all times for the transport and supervision of their weapons. Please refer to CAA publication CAP 675 for details.
3.13 Flight Procedures
Procedures to be used for access to Falcon London Heliport- agreement with the National Air Traffic Services (NATS).
FALCON LONDON HELIPORT PROCEDURES Effective: 15/01/2018
Description of Airspace
Falcon London Heliport is situated approximately 3nm South-West of London City Airport. The airspace in the immediate vicinity of Falcon London Heliport is designated as the London City CTR, which extends from the surface to an altitude of 2500ft. Falcon London Heliport is adjacent to Helicopter Route H4 and Restricted Area R159.
Aircraft inbound and outbound from the Falcon London Heliport will not normally require penetration of Restricted Area R159 and any such penetration must be subject to an Enhanced Non-Standard Flight Notification.
Helicopters Inbound to Falcon London Heliport
Flights inbound to the Falcon London Heliport must be conducted in accordance with the clearance issued, which will always be a VFR or SVFR clearance.
Control of inbound helicopters may be transferred to London City Tower.
In the event that the Heliport is fully occupied, further inbound traffic to the Heliport will be requested to remain outside of controlled airspace, rather than within the London City CTR, pending the Heliport becoming available. The operators of Falcon London Heliport undertake to contact TC GS Airports, to advise if this situation is likely to occur.
Helicopters Outbound from Falcon London Heliport
Prior to departure from Falcon London Heliport, the pilot is required to make their intentions known to ATC by one of the following methods:
Advise TC SVFR or City Tower of their intended outbound routing and ETD whilst inbound to the Heliport
Contact City Tower on 118.080MHz whilst on the ground
Contact TC SVFR on 125.625MHz whilst on the ground
If unable to establish two way communication on the ground, permission to depart may be achieved by contacting TC GS Airports by telephone
During the operational hours of London City Airport, control of outbound helicopters will normally be the responsibility of London City ATC, who will co-ordinate with TC SVFR, as necessary.
Flights outbound from Falcon London Heliport must be conducted in accordance with the clearance issued, which will always be a VFR or SVFR clearance.
The aircraft may be instructed to route to the Isle of Dogs VRP to hold, prior to continuing its outbound routing, to ensure separation with London City IFR traffic.
3.14 Radio Contact
Inbound helicopters should establish radio contact with the Heliport OPC before landing. This is NOT an air traffic service, it is a company OPS frequency. Call sign Falcon Ops on 131.965 MHZ. The crew should advise of POB as well as details of any hold luggage being carried, if they require an expeditious turnaround of the helicopter.
3.15 Specific CAA Rules of Operation at Falcon London Heliport
Helicopter Operations to the HLS
3.15.1 The Heliport lies within the Specified Area, close to R159 and London City Airport. The Specified Area, is notified in the Air Navigation (Restriction of Flying) (Specified Area) Regulations 2005 as follows:
Flight within the specified area except with the permission, in writing of, the Civil Aviation Authority and in accordance with any conditions therein specified, a helicopter shall not fly over the area specified in the Schedule below such height as would enable it to alight clear of the area in the event of a failure of a power unit……. excluding so much of the bed of the River Thames as lies within that area, between the ordinary high water marks on each of its banks.
3.15.2 R159, is notified under the Air Navigation (Restriction of Flying) (Isle of Dogs) Regulations 2004 and protects the Isle of Dogs with the following provisions:
(a) any aircraft in the service of the Chief Officer of Police for the Metropolitan Police District;
(b) any aircraft flying in accordance with a Special Flight Notification, issued by the appropriate air traffic control unit;
(c) any helicopter flying on Helicopter Route 4;
(d) any aircraft flying in accordance with an Enhanced Non-Standard Flight clearance issued by the appropriate air traffic control unit; and
(e) any aircraft approaching to, or departing from, London City Airport (LCY).
Helicopter Route 4 commences at the Isle of Dogs and follows the course of the River Thames to the West, terminating effectively at Kew Bridge as H10.
3.15.3 Notwithstanding the above, the Heliport is deemed to be a Congested Area in accordance with The Rules of the Air Regulations 2015, Rule 5(1)(b):
Landing and taking off within congested areas and near open-air assemblies
5.— (1) An aircraft must not take off or land within a congested area of any city, town or settlement except—
(a) at an aerodrome in accordance with procedures notified by the CAA; or
(b) at a landing site which is not an aerodrome in accordance with the permission of the CAA.
Use of the HLS by single engine helicopters therefore requires the use of Helicopter Route H4 and over flight of the river. Commanders of all types must obtain two written Permissions from the CAA before using the site. It is usual for a single combined permission for operating within the Specified Area and against Rule 5(1)(b), landing and taking off within a Congested Area, to be provided.
3.15.4. Operational Considerations
It is evident that, regardless of the helicopter type in use, there is no satisfactory or consistently safe approach to the site. All approaches to the site would have to culminate in some form of high hover, over the river and alongside the sea wall, before making a commitment to land. The prevailing south-westerly wind direction and direction of the river at the heliport does not favour any such approaches. Approaches or departures over the buildings to the North West, North and North East of the HLS are prohibited. The only clear approach and departure routes to and from the HLS, lie over the river, subject to river traffic.
Before providing a Take-off and Landing Permission against Rule 5(1)(b), the CAA will require all potential users of the site to conduct and present for inspection a risk assessment.
3.15.5 Commercial Helicopter Performance
Commercial Helicopters operating to EASA standards are required to protect their passengers and to operate to a performance class for engine failure considerations. The safest level of performance being Class 1 where at all times and throughout the flight regime, the helicopter must be capable of landing safely in the event of an engine failure. Class 1 performance is usually a pre-requisite for any CAT operation in a Congested Area. The helicopter manufacturer provides flight profiles in the Helicopter Flight Manual, that will assure this level of safety, provided that the pilot flies the correct and published profile.
Nevertheless, the location of Vanguard, and the proximity of the helipad to the surrounding buildings is not compatible with any published Class 1 profile and as a result, except in particular circumstances, Class 1 performance cannot be assured.
The CAA recognises that modern helicopters have performance capabilities that are not acknowledged in the legislation however. Helicopters that can sustain a hover out of ground effect on one engine are considered to demonstrate Class 1 Equivalent Performance and may be granted a Take-off and Landing Permission against Rule 5(1)(b) to operate into and from Vanguard. Only twin engined helicopters can demonstrate Class 1 Equivalent Performance.
Helicopters that cannot guarantee a safe forced landing in the event of an engine failure are effectively excluded from CAT operations at Vanguard. The wall adjacent to the river, and the elevation of the pad makes guaranteeing a safe forced landing in the event of an engine failure, during the critical phases of landing and take-off impossible. Nevertheless, the law provides, in certain circumstances, for an approval to be granted for operations with exposure, where a safe forced landing during the take-off and landing phase of flight cannot be assured. Operators with helicopters fitted with the required Helicopter Usage Monitoring Equipment (HUMS) may therefore be granted an approval that will permit operations to Vanguard. Both twin and single engined helicopters may be granted this Exposure Approval and may therefore be provided with a Take-off and Landing Permission against Rule 5(1) (b)
Helicopters that cannot perform to Class 1 Equivalent Performance or do not have an Exposure Approval may not be granted a Take-off and Landing Permission against Rule 5(1) (b) and may not operate into Falcon London Heliport.
3.15.6 Non-CAT, Private or Corporate Operations
Operators of non-CAT flights are not subject to such performance legislation; Indeed, the performance requirements are minimal and merely place an onus on the Commander to ensure that he has adequate performance for the landing site. Nevertheless, the Commander has a legal responsibility towards third parties; those persons outside the helicopter, perhaps on the helipad, in the adjacent buildings and persons active on the river. At no time should third parties be placed in danger.
It should also be appreciated that pilots of non-CAT helicopters are not subject to routine and rigorous operator recurrent training and checking regimes. As such, an individual pilot’s experience to the type of approach required to land at Vanguard may be limited. Due to the position of the site, an arrival to a free air hover is inevitably required. The side of the helipad provides a vertical drop of some 12 feet to the river. Hovering in close proximity to the edge of the helipad may result in the helicopter encountering adverse effects due to recirculation and downwash. A piston engined helicopter, with or without a governor may in such circumstances easily run out of power (MAP) and over pitch, with potentially catastrophic results. All pilots should have experience of operating out of ground effect, be familiar with the required techniques and be in current flying practice. The Take-off and Landing Permission against Rule 5(1)(b) has been given to non-CAT pilots in the past.
In summary the limitations from the CAA are:
All multi-engined helicopters, regardless of whether CAT, SPO, NCC or NCO, to be operated at equivalent Performance Class 1, i.e. the ability to hover out of ground effect with one engine inoperative at the operating weight.
No SPO/NCC/NCO single-engined helicopters at night.
3.16 Arrivals and Departures
Pilots of helicopters must not over fly any shipping that is visible and may be in close proximity to the heliport, and should be aware of any small vessel activity (such as dinghies) close to the helipad.
A helicopter may not land or take-off from a smaller pad when another helicopter is rotors-running on the other pad. At night only the large pad (spot 1) may be used.
3.17 Take-Off & Landing Profiles
Take-Off and Landing profiles should conform to the guidance in the manufacturer and operator manuals for the performance class of helicopter, such that they comply with the requirements for operations to and from an ‘elevated’ Helipad. Refer to 3.15 for full details.
3.18 Radio Failure
Inbound helicopters with a radio failure should comply with standard procedures.
3.19 Flight Plans
No facilities exist for this.
3.20. Start Authorisation is required for both engine and rotor start.
3.21. Noise Abatement Procedures
To promote noise abatement Falcon London Heliport operates a “Be Considerate to our Neighbours” policy:
All approaches and departures are to be carried out over the river.
Climb out and descent should be at the safest vertical speed (in accordance with the approved take-off profile for the aircraft) in order to achieve a safe departure/landing.
Helicopters will not be permitted to start-up in advance of the arrival of passenger(s) and overall ground-running of rotors/engines is limited to a maximum (guide time) of 5 minutes subject to operational requirements.
If departure is delayed for any reason, or it is subsequently found that the aircraft is not ready to depart, then aircrew will be required to shut down.
3.22. Wind Turbulence / Variance
Aircrew should be prepared for turbulence and possible wind shear which may be experienced during strong wind conditions on approaches and climb-outs, due to the close proximity of adjacent buildings.
4. Insurance Requirements
See separate Insurance Document
No fuel facilities are available. To enquire about the provision of mobile fuel supplies specific to an operation, please contact the Heliport Operations Manager.
6. International Flights and Flights Within the Common Travel Area (CTA)
No arrangements exist to provide these facilities and operators should contact the Heliport Operations Managers to discuss specific requirements.
7. London Helicopter Route Chart
(NOT TO BE USED FOR FLIGHT NAVIGATION)
8. Falcon London Heliport Layout
9. Approval for Use of Falcon London Heliport
See Approval for Use
Please complete and return to Falcon London Heliport email: firstname.lastname@example.org