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Thu, Aug 18, 2005

Amsterdam Heliport Opens

First Heliport In Netherlands

OK, let's play word association: Holland. Airfoils. Rotating. Got it?

If you guessed "windmills," you're not exactly wrong, because the Dutch are proud to have been using alternative power since before it was "alternative," but since this is Aero-News, you know we have to be talking about rotorcraft.

The first Dutch Heliport opened August 3rd in Amsterdam. It features quick access to ground transport, a VIP passenger lounge, and offers Jet A1 fuel and limited parking and overnight hangarage for transient helicopters.

As the image (courtesy Amsterdam Heliport) shows, it's clean and tidy in stereotypical Dutch fashion. If you've ever been sandblasted by rotor wash in an untidy helicopter landing zone, you know why this is a good thing.

Where did Dutch helicopters land before there were heliports? Well, like anybody else's, they used private property, with the owner's permission, or public-access airports. Using airports, though, eliminates one of the greatest advantages of the helicopter: its ability to land closer to the ultimate destination than a runway-dependent airplane.

The Amsterdam Heliport should be welcome indeed to executives traveling into the city; unlike Schipol, the principal commercial airport in Amsterdam, the Heliport is only ten minutes from the city's financial center. It is also a welcome facility for medical evacuation helicopters; the first copter to land at the new facility was indeed an EMS aircraft (see photo).

The heliport is ICAO-compliant, and will appear on future charts. Meanwhile you can waypoint it at N 52� 24.88' E 004� 48.29'.

FMI: www.amsterdamheliport.com

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