Concrete chopper commute
Whether you are filming a music video, a VIP travelling from A to B or a pilot navigating the skyline for an emergency medical mission, helipads are fast becoming part of the fabric of the urban landscape.
They are proving to be popular additions on top of skyscrapers in the concrete jungles of the Middle East and Asian countries, the result of a building boom in both commercial and residential structures.
In South America, the city of São Paulo, Brazil, has one of the largest fleets of helicopters within a city. Not surprisingly, the country has the most heliports in the region with around 13 [at last count by the CIA’s world fact book 2013].
In consideration of this chopper movement in the São Paulo skies, UberCopter is looking to capitalise on these flying machines within the city, by using them as a mode of transportation across the South American metropolis.
Uber is famed for its app-related taxi services – although the price for a sky ride might not be as competitive as four wheels. A ride from the city centre to the airport, for example, would nevertheless prove popular to avoid the congested city streets below.
According to research by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, 114 buildings over 200m have helipads, across 13 countries worldwide.
Furthermore, the study also indicated that 43 global cities have 200m-plus buildings with helipads: Seoul in South Korea currently has 12, closely followed by Busan and Los Angeles with ten each.
The Himalaya Mountains can lay claim to having the highest helipad in the world at 6,400m above sea level.
However, with regards to cities the highest helipad on top of a building was completed in 2010 on the 438m-tall Guangzhou International Finance Center in China.
The CIA’s world fact book stated that around the world there are over 6,500 heliports. Their increasing presence across the skyline could mean that whirlybird rides in the centre of town could become part of our daily commute in the not so distant future.