Local News

Raleigh's First Heliport Spinning Up Operations

Posted August 15, 2007 8:36 p.m. EDT

— A heliport opens for business in Raleigh on Thursday, inside the Interstate 440 Beltline at Capital Boulevard.

Some say it's another sign that the capital city is taking off, but others are not happy that the heliport landed in their back yards.

The heliport is home base for one of Raleigh's newest trade schools, one that will teach people to be chopper pilots.

"We felt that this would be a great location. We’ve got a great approach," heliport owner Scott Moore said Wednesday.

The heliport will store ‘copters and offer private flights, but the biggest tenant will be Silver State Helicopters, a company that teaches people to be professional pilots.

“I think this is going to be an asset to the community and to downtown Raleigh, the way Raleigh is growing. You’ve got Charlotte. They’ve got a heliport downtown. With the growth going on in downtown Raleigh, I think you'll see a lot of corporate use," Moore said.

"I had no idea that there was going to be a heliport moving in, and now I've got helicopters flying around," said Michael Stenke, who lives about a mile from the heliport in the Belvidere Park subdivision.

"I just don't see what good a taxi helicopter service is going to do to my neighborhood," Stenke said.

Others disagree.

"I think it's good for the city of Raleigh," said Lamar Caulder, who also is a heliport neighbor.

The heliport's owner just wants neighbors to give the operation an opportunity.

"If they give us a chance, in the area we're in, they’re going to realize we don't affect these neighbors,” Moore said. “I think they are not giving us a fair shake so far.">

The facility’s current operating permit limits flights to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Moore hopes to extend those hours.