Cannes Faces Heliport Closure

 - March 19, 2008, 9:38 AM

The French town of Cannes faces the closure of one of its licensed heliports next March if local authorities do not reach a decision on an alternate site. Residents’ groups are threatening to block permission to move the existing heliport at Cannes Mandelieu Airport, which is completing an upgrade to its runways that has been coupled with an agreement to reduce traffic. The airport handles 10,000 helicopter movements annually. Helicopter operators along the Côte d’Azur, one of Europe’s most developed charter helicopter markets, fear an alternative site will not be found. Operators hope that noise tests now under way at the airport will prove helicopters to be no louder than business jets. Cannes has an additional licensed heliport near the beach, where traffic would be diverted.