THE LUXURY OF TIME: PERSONALISED DOOR-TO-DOOR TRANSPORT
April 14, 2023
We know that for many of our Flexjet aircraft Owners, their most valued resource is time. Whether that’s facilitating a busy and complex schedule of business commitments across the globe, or maximising precious minutes when travelling with family and friends.
The time savings afforded by true door-to-door private air travel are a reality that Flexjet can now deliver even more efficiently, via our recently launched helicopter services.
The ability to use a wide variety of landing zones beyond airports is a crucial factor in the efficiency value of helicopter trips. The vertical operation creates take-off and landing possibilities such as city centres or remote countryside locations – far beyond the reach of a standard runway.
Our expert team has many years of experience in planning safe and efficient helicopter operations and can work with you to identify the closest helicopter landing site to your home, office or destination.
Here’s how to employ these seamless and distinct travel advantages to your benefit.
FLEXJET LUXURY HELICOPTERS – TRULY ELEVATED PRIVATE TRAVEL
Our luxury helicopter service provides last-mile transport for Owners of Flexjet aircraft travelling to and from their private jet flights at airports in and around London, the New York City area and South Florida, enabling them to avoid lengthy or congested ground transfers. Take London for example: The driving time from the city centre to Farnborough Airport can be as much as 90 minutes in rush hour traffic, but just 15 minutes in a helicopter.
Helicopters also provide fast and comfortable transport on their own, to access remote locations or to reach destinations which generate heavy road traffic, such as major sports and lifestyle events – including Royal Ascot, for which Flexjet is the Official Private Aviation Supplier and host of the official event heliport.
A true regional transit breakthrough, Flexjet’s Sikorsky S-76 helicopter offers an unparalleled four-decade record of reliability, comfort, and superior performance. With the ability to carry up to eight passengers plus two S76-certified, IFR-qualified pilots, this is transport solution that prioritises safety while being supremely efficient. It also has a maximum range of 300 nautical miles, or about 2 hours and 30 minutes, opening plenty of travel possibilities.
STEP #1: UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS OF HELICOPTER TRAVEL
When looking to enhance your travel with our helicopter service, these are the first things to bear in mind:
- Are you in our UK, New York City, or South Florida operating regions?
- What is your location? City, country estate, golf club, event venue, yacht harbour etc.
- What time of day will you require service?
Of course, depending on your location, there will be different operational considerations. Our experts can advise if your preferred location meets remote landing zone standards and is permitted by the CAA or FAA as applicable. If not, they will advise on the closest, safe alternative, and we can arrange ground transport to fill in any gaps.
Safety and proper planning are our absolute priorities when planning any helicopter mission. No agenda, obligation, or need will supersede our years of aviation expertise and unwavering adherence to best practice operational standards.
Timings can usually be very flexible, but it can depend on the location. At busy heliports you will usually be given a fixed slot time, particularly in busy cities and around major events. But in a more remote or regional landing spot, the schedule can be very much bespoke. Do bear in mind though that helicopters require proper lighting to land at night – such as that found at an airport or commercial heliport.
Operationally, our Sikorsky S-76 helicopters are ultra-agile, quiet aircraft and many locations are very well suited as landing spots. However regulations must be followed to determine safety and suitability.
If it is a landing spot not frequently used by helicopters, permission to land must be obtained from the relevant local authorities. This is a vital and non-negotiable aspect of helicopter travel. Noise ordinances, IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) versus VFR (Visual Flight Rules) conditions, and ‘No-Fly’ zones can also impact the ability to deploy helicopter travel in your selected area.
STEP #2: PLANNING YOUR HELICOPTER TRIP
Once you are clear on some of these general details and wish to go ahead with a helicopter trip, our experts can assess the location and situational logistics and begin to plan. They will take care of all of the operational details and permit requirements for you, wherever you want to take off or land.
If you are looking to access a more remote or unusual spot, this is often perfectly possible, but a few additional criteria must be met, including:
- At your requested site(s), is there a clear and flat area of 40m x 40m for the helicopter to land?
- Is there a clear launch ceiling of 245m or more? Clear of branches, overhead lines or any other vertical obstructions.
- The relevant permissions are granted to land a helicopter.
- An assessment of the current or expected weather conditions: We implement strict go / no-go standards for inclement / IFR conditions.
- If the landing site is grass or levelled terrain, is it water-logged or muddy? Helicopters can only land or take off safely if the designated site is clear.
For some remote landings, we may ask for photos and videos of the requested site. Once we receive these crucial details, we can then begin to plan and clear our mission with the requisite channels. We approve the mission timeframe and complete a detailed brief on your specific trip and its requirements.
STEP #3: ADDITIONAL CAR SERVICES
Depending on your itinerary, additional car services may be required to complete your door-to-door travel experience. Our Owner Services team will work to coordinate this carefully with your helicopter and private jet schedules, as is relevant to your particular trip.
This means that if one element of your schedule changes, our team will react to ensure that the others are adjusted accordingly – with the aim of making your door-to-door travel as efficient, seamless and comfortable as possible.
YOUR DOOR-TO-DOOR TRAVEL SOLUTION
To discover more about Flexjet’s helicopter and private jet programmes, contact our team using the form below or call us on +44 (0) 203 856 8151.