Another first for Waterfall as Ultimate Heliport opens.
There can be little doubt that aviation demands in Gauteng are growing and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, given the nature of helicopters, it is possible to build a heliport much closer to the city than one could conceivably do with an airport.
Shaun Roseveare, CEO at Ultimate Heli, explains that in developing the heliport at Waterfall, the company was well aware of the particular aviation challenges facing helicopters. “There has long been a shortage of hangars around Johannesburg, and despite this, we have not seen any new airports built in this area in our organisation’s lifetime. The desire to have increased hangar space, coupled with the need to be nearer the city’s business heart, meant that we decided to move forward on our own to develop a heliport plan,” he says.
“Ultimate Heli entered into discussions with Waterfall, and together, we identified land that could be utilised for this purpose. Situated in the Southern Logistics Precinct – between the N1 and Old Pretoria Road – our location is remote enough from the rest of Waterfall to ensure we do not disturb businesses and residents, but it is still close enough to be ideally situated for our target market.”
Roseveare notes that this heliport, completed on 1 December 2018, was planned according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) textbook design, complying with all recognised international standards. He adds that the project also received the approval of the local Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), ensuring full compliance with local requirements.
“Currently there are two operators at the heliport, Ultimate Heli and National Airways Corporation, both of which provide helicopter charters, particularly for VIPs. We also offer executive boardrooms where our customers are able to host meetings either upon arrival or prior to departure.”
“In addition, Ultimate Heli provides maintenance services, while also accommodating a number of private owners who hangar their personal helicopters here. Traditionally, these owners would have been based at Grand Central, Rand or Lanseria airports, but they have now moved their aircraft to Ultimate Heliport for convenience sake.”
Roseveare indicates further that the company will soon be moving onto phase two of the heliport, which is expected to be built on the adjacent piece of land.
“The second phase will include additional hangars – as the existing ones are almost full – as well as state-of-the-art flight simulators. Our aim is to transform this facility from a simple heliport into a more complete aviation services node.”
“As the first of its kind in SA, you could say this heliport is a unique development. Waterfall already has everything from hospitals and schools to offices, a wide range of residential areas and Mall of Africa, so the Ultimate Heliport will simply add to the glamour and vibe of the overall development.”
He points out that major cities like London and New York have heliports on their doorsteps, so for Waterfall to have the first one in South Africa, once again demonstrates how trailblazing the development truly is.
“I would go so far as to say that what has been done with the heliport really encapsulates the spirit of Waterfall. After all, as spectacular as many of them are, it is relatively common to see offices, houses and malls being constructed, but heliports are few and far between. There is certainly plenty of excitement from the aviation community, as well as the residents, and we have no doubt this heliport will continue to add value to the development.”
“After all, Waterfall is developing into something akin to a city within a city, and the new Ultimate Heliport offers it increased luxury and convenience. At the same time, having a first of its kind is genuinely encouraging for future developments within Waterfall as a whole,” he concludes.