Heliwave Helicopter Tours denied operation in Orange Beach

By Melanie LeCroy / melanie@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 1/12/22

Heliwave Helicopter Tours LLC will need to find a new location for the operation of a helicopter tour business. The Orange Beach City Council voted unanimously Jan. 4 to reject the approval of a …

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Heliwave Helicopter Tours denied operation in Orange Beach

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Heliwave Helicopter Tours LLC will need to find a new location for the operation of a helicopter tour business. The Orange Beach City Council voted unanimously Jan. 4 to reject the approval of a minor modification to The Wharf planned unit development (PUD) master plan to allow for the company to operate from the existing helipad at The Wharf. The council and mayor expressed concern over the noise and flight pattern.
Heliwave Helicopter Tours LLC presented three flight plans ranging from eight to 20 miles using new Robinson R44 and R66 helicopters. The aircraft can carry a total of four passengers and would make as many as 25 flights per day and operate seven days a week, year-round.
The zoning ordinance amendment included the addition of a 12-foot by 18-foot portable office structure to the helipad site. The Wharf’s helipad is located on the southeast corner near the Orange Beach Event Center. The site is used twice a year by the nonprofit veteran’s group Friends of Army Aviation who offer flights on a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter.
The council voted to suspend the rules to consider the ordinance amendment and voted unanimously against. Councilman Jeff Boyd was not in attendance.
During the regular session, the council voted to:

• Pass a resolution authorizing a franchise for Mary’s Taxi Service to operate within the city limits and police jurisdiction of the city of Orange Beach.
• Passed a resolution authorizing payment of up to $3,000 to the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber for the annual e-cycling and paper shred event.
• Pass a resolution authorizing the purchase of three vehicles for the Public Works Department from the Alabama Department of Transportation in the amount of $111,347.
• Pass a resolution authorizing the purchase of two mowers for the Street Department through Sourcewell in the amount of $62,068.16.
• Pass a resolution authorizing the purchase of a mini excavator for the Coastal Resources Department through Sourcewell in the amount of $62,688.60
• Pass a resolution authorizing the purchase of a mower for the Coastal Resources Department through Sourcewell in the amount of $26,477.22
• Pass a resolution authorizing the purchase of a tractor for the Coastal Resources Department through Sourcewell in the amount of $58,943.06
• Pass a resolution authorizing the purchase of two pickup trucks for the Coastal Resources Department through Sourcewell in the amount of $69,216.40.