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HELIPORTS..KEY TO URBAN TRANSPORTATION From an address by Harvey Gaylord, President and Treasurer, of Bell Aerospace Corporation, in Los Angeles, September, 1939 Whenever the subject of heliports is discussed, I am reminded of the status of the automobile back in 1910 when its full value was delayed for several years for lack of good roads. Today the helicopter has arrived at a state of development where it faces a similar dilemma - a lack of facilities coupled with a general lack of public understanding of the problem. A solution to this dilemma will reward progressive communities to an extent out of all proportion to the original investment of planning and funding. This becomes evident when you consider that no mass transportation medium yet developed requires less ground facilities than the helicopter. You may be interested to know that there are now more than 280 corporate, government agencies and commercial helicopter charter operators in the United States and Canada, with more than 800 helicopters in their combined fleets. Helicopters are being used in the fields of municipal and government services, oil, construction, agriculture, ranching, electrical power, and mining, to name but a few. Some of the greatest growth factors for rotorcraft, however, are in the expanding fields of executive transportation, air carriers, and aerial taxis. Executive transportation via helicopter is a reality today. Many companies have purchased their own helicopters to transport top officials and high priority material from plant to plant, plant-to-downtown, and plant-to-airport. They are converting lost minutes into profits-making hours by using their rotary-wing craft to hedgehop over congested ground transportation. For example, the Northrop company operates its helicopter Monday through Friday on a fixed schedule, making eight flights daily between the Northrop Division in Hawthorne and the Anaheim facilities of the Nortronics Division and the Radioplane Division in Van Nuys. Travel time between plants is compressed from a one-hour battle on the ground to a leisurely 18-minute helicopter flight. A similar story is told at North American Aviation, where in the last twelve months its helicopter has flown 1,771 trips with a 98.75 per cent availability. Many other "blue chip" companies have elected to utilize the services of helicopter taxi companies. One of the best known helitaxi companies is Helicopter Air Lift of Chicago. Blessed with few restrictrive ordinances and a preponderance of public acceptance, Helicopter Air Lift is untangling executive transportation problems for 50 "important" firms in the Chicago area. The company's client list reads like a Who's Who of American Business - Admiral Corporation, A. B. Dick Company, Marshall Field, Motorola, National Broadcasting Company, Shell Oil, and Standard Oil of Indiana, and so on.
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