Scottsdale Looks At Residential Heli Ban

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Dropping in on the neighbors may be a thing of the past in Scottsdale, Ariz., if the city council proceeds with a revision to its helicopter ordinance. The city law already lays out where helicopters are permitted to land (airports, hospitals, industrial sites, etc.) but it doesn't specifically exclude residential areas. Jim Heitel, vice chairman of Scottsdale's Planning Commission, told the East Valley Tribune the new ordinance would make it clear that "residential areas are meant to be residential." In 2003, the commission's board of adjustment turned down a homeowner's request to build a helipad. A large, circular cement pad was poured anyway and the owner says it's a driveway. Some helicopter operators are wondering why the rule is needed since the air isn't exactly thick with helicopters. "Flights I'm aware of are a rare event," north Scottsdale resident Craig Stull told the Tribune. "Maybe once a year. Not routine, just a special event. In a lot of cases people weren't aware of it." And in some cases, helicopter flights onto private property are a welcome event. Resident and helicopter pilot Scott Urschel said the ordinance would ban his annual delivery of Santa to the neighborhood. "A bunch of neighbors are going to be extremely disappointed," he said.