PremiAir Aviation has established a new pricing structure for helicopters at its recently acquired London heliport in an attempt to remain under the 12,000 annual movement ceiling.

The operator, which was recently acquired along with the Battersea-based heliport by the von Essen Group, for which it manages a fleet of helicopters and business jets, has seen movements escalate at the site over the past few years and last year almost reached its limit after ten months. 

“The movement ceiling at Battersea, London’s only commercial heliport, was set at 12,000 movements in 1997,” says PremiAir’s business development manager David Langton.  “Based on the current demand we think a realistic ceiling is around 15,000 and we will eventually lobby for an increase.”


Canary Wharf S-76s 
Two of PremiAir's Sikorsky S-76s fly past Canary Wharf


PremiAir says the heliport’s previous pricing structure was based on aircraft weight, so a single engine Robinson R44 would pay far less than a heavier twin engine machine.  “Under the new pricing system to be introduced next month all helicopters will pay the same price regardless of size”  Langton says, which should deter a number of operators from using the heliport and therefore reduce numbers.  So an R44 paying around £280 during peak times under the old system will now be paying £400.  “We are also offering incentives to operators to park their aircraft rather than leave the site and return later. This should cut down the movements significantly,” he says.

two of PremiAir's three Sikorsky S-76s fly past Canary Wharf