Helipad planning and design

Helipad planning and design

It is essential when planning and designing a helipad to follow all the recommended guidelines. For the landing area to be safe and have all the requirements to be an ideal spot.


If you are looking to construct a helipad, then you are in the right place. Our company, has the expertise to handle this task. We provide companies and individuals with a wide range of solutions for airport operations.


Let us look at the basic layout of a helipad and the different lights required to make it an ideal landing place.






Basic Layout

The layout of a heliport should at least have;

  • At least, one takeoff and final approach area. At the centre of it a lift-off and Touchdown area.
  • At least, two or more departure and approach paths. One of the paths should align with the direction of the predominant wind.
  • An outlying safety area.


The landing spot should be large enough to accommodate helicopters to use the helipad. On the other hand, the FATO should at least be 1.5 times the length of the chopper. The safety area’s width should be 0.33 times the rotor diameter or more, not less than 6 metres.


These requirements should not worry you, as our team of experts will come with a suitable design to meet the needs of your heliport.



For daytime flights, the basic layout is enough for touchdowns and takeoffs. In the case of night operation, the heliport should use the appropriate lightings. However, this should be the least of your worries since we will provide the right lights to apply on your pad.


The FATO, TLOF, Taxi routes, taxiways and windsock need lighting to operate optimally at night. The visual aids help pilots navigate and land safely.


Here are lights required on a helipad to operate at night:


TLOF lights

To define the TLOF area, use flush green lights. Moreover, set a minimum of four lights on each side of the TLOF perimeter. Use uniformly spaced additional lights to locate lights on each corner.


We will place lights along the approach centreline, using an odd number of lights on each side.


To define a circular TLOF, we will use an even number of uniformly spaced lights at a maximum of 7.6 metres. The minimum should at least be eight lights. We will locate the flush light within 0.3 metres in or out of the landing perimeter.


FATO lights

To define the FATO area, you must use green lights. In the case, you locate the helipad close to a taxiway, use yellow lights. These yellow lights will prevent pilots from confusing the FATO perimeter and the green taxiway lights.


Also, use a minimum of four-flush or raised light on each side of the perimeter. Just as with TLOF lights, additional lights will help to locate light at each corner. Similarly, an odd number of lights will place lights along the approaching centreline.


For a circular FATO, we will uniformly space an even number of lights at a maximum of 7.6 metres. In and outside of the perimeter area, we locate the flush lights within 30 cm.


Other lights that we will provide for your helipad design are;

  • Floodlights. Used to illuminate the TLOF, FATO, and the parking area. Placing floodlight should be careful not to constitute obstruction hazard by aiming them to light the surface.
  • Landing direction lights. For directional guidance. % metre spacing is appropriate, beginning from 6 metres to 18 metres from the TLOF perimeter.
  • Flightpath Alignment Lights
  • Visual Glide Path Indicator
  • Lighted Wind cone
  • Heliport Identification Beacon
  • Taxiway Lights