Turkey: An Important Development İn Aviation Industry İn Turkey: Heliports And Air Taxis With Legal Aspects

The developments in civil aviation in Turkey accelerate year over year. New investitions, projects and also expansion of trade volume provide the increase of number of airports, passengers and means of air transportation. According to the acitivity report of Directorate General of Civil Avation ("DGCA") of 2012, the rate of increase in air transportation of last ten years is 20%.1

In addition to this, the number of licensed heliports in Turkey have been increasing since 2011. This number was in 2011 44, and 54 in 2012.2 The continuation of this increase is estimated. Especially skyscraper and residence projects target to include an heliport. Within the Project of One Heliport for Each Skyscraper" of DGCA3 in 2008 the numbers of such skyscrapers increase.

Legal aspect: What is an heliport and what are the conditions of a licence?

Heliport is defined by article 4-k) of Regulation on Construction and Operation of Heliports No. SHY-14B ("RCOH") as areas used for secured departure and landing of helicopters. It is compulsory to obtain a construction and an operation license from DGCA. (Article 5, RCOH). The application process for these licenses is regulated by articles 20,21,22,23 and 24 of RCOH. The DGCA decides for issuance of construction license through holding the opinion of related municipalities, military institutions and last approximately 30 days after the application. The operation license is issued according to similar process with construction license.

Air Taxis: A factor in increase of heliport numbers in Turkey

Helicopters or air taxis are preferred especially by business people in big cities as an alternative transportation. In addition to this function, air taxis are also used in healthcare industry as air ambulances, for touristic group visits and tours. The increase of helicopter numbers in Turkey increase the demand to heliports. According to the data of DGCA, there are 54 air taxi operators and 208 aircrafts in Turkey as of 7.1.2013.4 Moreover, the DGCA has began with the Project of Ambulance Helicopters in 2009.5

How to operate an air taxi company?

There is a specific regulation concerning air transportation operators named Regulation on Commercial Air Transportation Operators no. SHY6A ("RCAO"). This regulation provides the conditions and general terms for aircraft operation in Turkey. Companies which intend to operate an aircraft company shall fulfill the conditions stated in this regulation. These companies shall submit their articles of association to the DGCA, and registrate their trademarks. (Article 5, RCAO).

According to the Articles 6 and 7 of this regulation, the type of such companies operating aircrafts with a capacity of at least 20 passengers shall be joint stock companies. In addition to this, the field of activity of these companies is limited to aviation or it should be related to aviation.

The Article 16 of this regulation concerns the air taxi operations. According to this, the operators intending to do operation with air taxis with a capacity of at most 19 passengers shall be authorized by DGCA. At least one aircraft shall be registered in Turkish Civil Aircraft Registry. Air taxi operators with aircraft with a capacity of at least 20 at most 99 passengers shall be authorized by the Ministry of Transport and at least two aircrafts shall be registered in Turkish Civil Aircraft Registry.

The operation license process is regulated by Articles 26 and following articles of RCAO. The license application shall be made to the DGCA.

The stages of this application process are stated below:

  • Prior authorization by DGCA, valid for 6 months.
  • Inspection for document compliance by DGCA.
  • License is issued by DGCA and the issuance decision is confirmed by the Ministry for Transport. (Article 35, RCAO)

Operation license is issued for one year and it may be extended for three years.

Conclusion

Due to different projects, the progress of aviation industry and investitions are encouraged. Developments in air transportation such as air ambulances, heliports and air taxis will play an essential role in dynamising of healthcare industry and tourism, and this will also be a very preferred way of transportation by business people and investors in Turkey because of its advantages such as security and fastness.

Footnotes

1. Activity report of DGCA of 2012, page 26; http://web.shgm.gov.tr/doc5/2012fr.pdf, last visited on 12.9.2013.

2. Activity report of DGCA of 2012, page 27; http://web.shgm.gov.tr/doc5/2012fr.pdf, last visited on 12.9.2013.

3. http://web.shgm.gov.tr/dgca.php?page=projects&id=3, last visited on 12.9.2013; see also http://web.shgm.gov.tr/dgca.php?page=projects.

4. www.shgm.gov.tr/doc2/hava_taksi.xls‎, last visited on 12.9.2013

5. http://web.shgm.gov.tr/dgca.php?page=projects&id=5, last visited on 12.9.2013.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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