LAX helipad could close permanently

Little known fact: For more than 30 years, there’s been a helipad on top of parking garage 4 at Los Angeles International Airport.

Pilots were informed in 2010 that the helipad would temporarily close due to construction. They were told that cranes in the area necessary for construction would make it possible for helicopters to land. The helipad was expected to be back open now. But Los Angeles World Airports executives have signaled that they may try to permanently seek to close the heliport. The airport has already informed the Federal Aviation Administration of its intent.

That has left many pilots and helicopter company executives upset. And many came on Tuesday to the Los Angeles Board of Airports Commission meeting to voice their displeasure.

Perhaps most important, law enforcement officials noted that the heliport would be vital for any emergencies at the Central Terminal Area. The board took no action, so the heliport remains closed, albeit on a temporary basis. Helicopters can still land at other areas of the airport, but not close to the terminals.

One of the chief benefits of the garage heliport seems to be to allow wealthy individuals to bypass traffic and fly directly to the airport. Is that a worthwhile benefit?

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