Runways are designed to sustain the impact of an airplane landing on its surface which is why they are used for takeoff and landing. However, because of the ability to takeoff and land vertically, using the runway is almost always optional for a helicopter. Helicopters are essentially able to takeoff and land anywhere they will fit with consideration to safety.

Hover Taxi

Helicopters that are equipped with wheels should be treated like fixed wing aircraft and issued taxi instructions as such. Helicopters that do not have wheels or wheeled helicopters that would prefer to taxi in the same manner perform what is known as a hover taxi. A hover taxi authorizes a helicopter to proceed at a speed of less than 20 knots within the ground effect. During a hover taxi the helicopter is issued a taxi route like a fixed wing.

Issue helicopters a hover taxi clearance using procedures taught in “Ground Movement Operations”.

N312PD, Runway 17, hover taxi via K.
N312PD, hover taxi to taxiway V, via E, G.
N312PD, hover taxi to Signature West, via S, K. Hold short runway 17.

Air Taxi

Air Taxi authorizes a helicopter to expeditiously fly from one point to another on the airport usually below 100 ft AGL and at airspeed above 20 knots. Air Taxi operations utilize the helicopters unique flight abilities to expedite helicopter operations and alleviate unnecessary waiting.

Issue the route to air taxi via followed by the destination and any special instructions. If necessary, instruct the aircraft to land and contact Local Control.

N312PD, air taxi via direct to runway 17. Land and contact tower 118.3.
N312PD, air taxi via as requested to runway 17, remain at or below 5,000. Land and contact tower 118.3.
N312PD, air taxi via direct to taxiway K. Avoid B737 on S. Land and contact tower 118.3.