Cardiff Heliport Re-Opens
On 1 July (2016) Cardiff City Heliport re-opened after an eighteen month closure. The heliport (EGFC) has unrivalled facilities for visitors and residents including hangarage, fuel and being strategically only 10 minutes by taxi from Cardiff city centre.
The heliport was the brain-child of South Wales businessman Julian Verity who operated a helicopter charter business in the late 1970s using Cardiff airport initially as a base. He successfully lobbied Cardiff South MP and Prime Minister (1976-79) Jim Callaghan for support and funds to establish a dedicated heliport for the Welsh capital and the a facility was first opened around 1984 near to the current site at Tremorfa, next to the shore-line and in Cardiff’s industrial docklands. The present prestigious terminal and associated conference rooms, offices and suites were opened in November 1999 in time for the Rugby World Cup .It was in the ownership of Cardiff City Council and previously operated by Veritair Utilities Division of British International Helicopters (BIH), part of the Patriot Group. It was particularly popular with helicopter operators during major sporting events at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and is reported to have hosted over seventy helicopters during one FA Cup Final in Cardiff.
All of the based helicopters had departed by August 2014 and the heliport closed on 30 November 2014 when BIH withdrew from its operating contract. The re-opening is a major boost for South Wales ga and is subject to a fifty year lease signed in April 2016. Main instigator’s of the re-opening are businessman and commercial helicopter pilot Roy Steptoe, and business partner Hugh Evans. Roy is the manager of Caernarvon airport in North Wales and hopes to expand the heliports usage by attracting an engineer or engineering company to its hangar facilities – he also hopes to establish helicopter flight training here.
Part of the impetus for the re-opening is the expansion of the Wales Air Ambulance fleet of EC135s, with a fourth helicopter being day-based at Cardiff City Heliport on a six month trial from September (2016) to supplement the other three Wales Air Ambulance helicopters currently based at Llanelli, Welshpool and Caernarvon. This Welsh operation makes it the largest helicopter air ambulance operation in the UK.
Heliport operating hours are from 09.00 to 18.00 daily and landing fee for a light helicopter is £25.00 upwards – fuel is available during operational hours. Arrivals should note that Cardiff Docks is a vrp for light aircraft in-bound to Cardiff and StAthan with this traffic operating not above 1500ft – the heliport’s air-to-ground frequency is 120.650. There are currently three full time staff employed at the heliport to provide the expected fbo facilities such as ground handling and fuelling – conference and office facilities are available to users in the heliport’s prestigious terminal building.
Contact tel : 02920 465880 and on-line PPR from web site : www.cardiffheliport.com