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Page Summary

London Helicopter Crossing Statistics

Main Content

Helicopter Operations over London

 All helicopters flying in the London (Heathrow) and London City Control Zones (CTRs),  are subject to an Air Traffic Control (ATC) clearance and particular visibility minima.  In the main, pilots navigate by visual reference to ground features with only limited ATC Radar assistance.  Single-engined helicopters are required to fly along designated helicopter routes. These routes have been selected to provide maximum safety by avoiding flying over built up areas as much as possible. However, it should be noted that multi-engine helicopters can be provided with an ATC clearance to transit on more direct routes through the CTRs.  

Link to Helicopter routes in the London (Heathrow) and London City CTR

 The Police and the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) operate multi-engined helicopters, but their operations are subject to special requirements associated with the nature of the tasks they are performing. Therefore, Police and HEMS helicopters may need to operate at lower altitudes or hold over specific locations. 

 The Civil Aviation Authority’s Directorate of Airspace Policy (DAP) provides a focal point for receiving and responding to aviation environmental complaints from the general public, including aircraft noise complaints. Many of the complaints that the Directorate receive would be better described as requests for information or advice.  Accordingly, a series of Environmental Information Sheets about aviation issues has been compiled with the aim of addressing many frequently asked questions.  Of particular interest are Sheet number 6 – “Helicopter Activities and Private Landing Sites” and Sheet number 7 - “Helicopter Activities in the London Control Zone and Over Central London”. 

Link to CAA Environmental Information Sheets

Link to Statistical data for helicopter operations within the London (Heathrow) and London City CTR