Public Use Heliport

Mongo

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Since I've seen discussion of this clogging up at least 3 different threads I figure I'd consolidate it. So any ideas or discussion lets talk about here.

Personally I like JumboBuc's idea of putting in inside the 93 split south of Kneeland. Right here:



1. No nearby neighbors to complain

2. Already owned by mass DOT

3. No one would ever want to build anything there

4. Easy access from it north to Kneeland st. and the rest of the city. A right a left and a right and you're in the seaport district.

Only problem I see would be wind buffeting on cars passing by, but that can be mitigated by some of these:

 

JeffDowntown

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I believe that there is a big volume of potentially hazardous fill on that site that would need to be cleaned up (in a protected mound). So it is not a "cheap" location.
 

whighlander

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Since I've seen discussion of this clogging up at least 3 different threads I figure I'd consolidate it. So any ideas or discussion lets talk about here.

Personally I like JumboBuc's idea of putting in inside the 93 split south of Kneeland. Right here:


1. No nearby neighbors to complain

2. Already owned by mass DOT

3. No one would ever want to build anything there

4. Easy access from it north to Kneeland st. and the rest of the city. A right a left and a right and you're in the seaport district.
Mongo -- I think that spot has always been reserved for a major tower -- the so-called Southern Gateway

see for instance:

and
http://www.bostonredevelopmentauthority.org/planning/planning-initiatives/south-bay-planning-study-phase-1#map
 

Mongo

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From the BRA website

During the Phase I planning, the MTA issued a Request for Proposals for developers interested in the MTA-owned properties within the Study Area. In December 2004, the MTA received one submission, which they decided not to select in late 2006.
Even the project website www.southbayplanningstudy.com doesn't seem to exist anymore.

I realize once upon a time it was looked at for development but if you look at the current state of the site it is in a singularly shitty spot. Hemmed in on all sides by onramps. Pretty exceptionally terrible access from all around, almost no "walk-ability." The only access is over the one tiny bridge that crossed an on ramp. Very little non-road covered ground to build an air-rights building on.

And to top it all of that parcel directly in line with one of the Logan runways so it's limited to ~325 feet, making it especially uneconomical to build. I could see someone developing the DOT parking lot next to reggie wong park, but not this particular parcel.

All those things that make it a bad place to build make it a good place to put a slab of concrete and land helicopters on though.
 

millerm277

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Mongo -- I think that spot has always been reserved for a major tower -- the so-called Southern Gateway

see for instance:

and
http://www.bostonredevelopmentauthority.org/planning/planning-initiatives/south-bay-planning-study-phase-1#map
The Logan Airspace Map has it at 325-350ft max height, and given that it's directly down the centerline of runway 9-27, I doubt the FAA will be inclined to alter that.

So it's not going to be much of a tower if you were to build on that site.
 

whighlander

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The Logan Airspace Map has it at 325-350ft max height, and given that it's directly down the centerline of runway 9-27, I doubt the FAA will be inclined to alter that.

So it's not going to be much of a tower if you were to build on that site.
Millerm -- very bizarre since the original height was 800 ft -- you'd think someone would have noticed the runway

However, -- that also makes it a bad place for a heliport as all of the takeoffs are essentially a virtual temporary tower -- i.e. there will be constant conflicts with 9-27 operations depending on wind directions
 

whighlander

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From the BRA website



Even the project website www.southbayplanningstudy.com doesn't seem to exist anymore.

I realize once upon a time it was looked at for development but if you look at the current state of the site it is ...Hemmed in on all sides by onramps. Pretty exceptionally terrible access from all around, almost no "walk-ability." The only access is over the one tiny bridge that crossed an on ramp. Very little non-road covered ground to build an air-rights building on.

And to top it all of that parcel directly in line with one of the Logan runways so it's limited to ~325 feet, making it especially uneconomical to build. I could see someone developing the DOT parking lot next to reggie wong park, but not this particular parcel.

All those things that make it a bad place to build make it a good place to put a slab of concrete and land helicopters on though.
Mongo -- the planning study still has a web page
http://www.bostonredevelopmentauthority.org/planning/planning-initiatives/south-bay-planning-study-phase-1

But more significantly, if you can't get to the helipad except by helicopter -- that doesn't seem to be a promising site

In addition because of all of the ramps in the immediate area as part of the interchange you can't readily tunnel into the site for access -- you have to deck it and then build connecting ramps above the level of most of the surrounding highway

Finally -- See the previous post as to why the use of the site for a helicopter pad -- has much the same restrictions as the building of a tower

I think it is a very unlikely place for a public heliport

a much better location is the former Subaru Pier now called in particularly Boston-geo-moronic-speak the "North Jetty"



easy to shoe-horn a heliport into this huge open area with direct access to the Seaport via Northern Ave and Summer St.
 
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Mongo

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Mongo -- the planning study still has a web page
http://www.bostonredevelopmentauthority.org/planning/planning-initiatives/south-bay-planning-study-phase-1

See the previous post as to why the use of the site for a helicopter pad -- has much the same restrictions as the building of a tower
Whigh, my point is that the website specifically set up for the study that is linked from the BRA page no longer exists. The BRA page itself states that the last time there was any action on this site was almost a decade ago and that was to reject the only proposal they received. Basically, this project is DEAD.

As you can see here.

And download here. (ZIP file)

The site is currently a landmark on one of the helicopter routes through the city. Basically Helicopters fly over it all the time currently. They go up 93 and bank a right there to go over fort point channel.

I'm not sure what altitude helos have as they come through there, but it should be more than enough to allow take offs and landings at this site.

325' is more than enough height to take off in a helo and transit.

The FAA height restrictions are there for things that can't monitor ATC and can't move out of the way of a plane in distress AKA buildings. They aren't a blanket restriction on other aircraft.

EDIT: to reply to your edit

There is already road access to this site from Kneeland st (there is a bridge over an onramp at the north side of the site, it's under the south station connector so it's hard to see). More than enough for the light taxi/livery car traffic you would see. You don't need to build anything else. The point I was making was that this sort of limited access wouldn't be enough to support a building, but would be plenty to support a heliport. And walking access as a heliport doesn't matter because if your time is valuable enough to take a helicopter, you aren't walking here.

Also, north jetty isn't a terrible spot either except that that it's very close to the end of the Logan runways. There is a helicopter route that goes through there but the map recommends a multi-engine and flotation equipped helicopters due to the low altitudes imposed.
 
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whighlander

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Whigh, my point is that the website specifically set up for the study that is linked from the BRA page no longer exists. The BRA page itself states that the last time there was any action on this site was almost a decade ago and that was to reject the only proposal they received. Basically, this project is DEAD.

As you can see here.

And download here. (ZIP file)

The site is currently a landmark on one of the helicopter routes through the city. Basically Helicopters fly over it all the time currently. They go up 93 and bank a right there to go over fort point channel.

I'm not sure what altitude helos have as they come through there, but it should be more than enough to allow take offs and landings at this site.

325' is more than enough height to take off in a helo and transit.

The FAA height restrictions are there for things that can't monitor ATC and can't move out of the way of a plane in distress AKA buildings. They aren't a blanket restriction on other aircraft.

EDIT: to reply to your edit

There is already road access to this site from Kneeland st (there is a bridge over an onramp at the north side of the site, it's under the south station connector so it's hard to see). More than enough for the light taxi/livery car traffic you would see. You don't need to build anything else. The point I was making was that this sort of limited access wouldn't be enough to support a building, but would be plenty to support a heliport. And walking access as a heliport doesn't matter because if your time is valuable enough to take a helicopter, you aren't walking here.

Also, north jetty isn't a terrible spot either except that that it's very close to the end of the Logan runways. There is a helicopter route that goes through there but the map recommends a multi-engine and flotation equipped helicopters due to the low altitudes imposed.
Mongo -- i wasn't trying to suggest that the 800' tower was still "on" -- its been less real than the South Station Tower for this entire real estate cycle

My point was that development in that location is still on the table -- a cluster of 350 foot buildings could easily accommodate thousands of residential units for example

My points with respect to the North Jetty are: that its easier to access to where GE is likely to locate; has lots of land already owned by government; has no significant constraints imposed by higher value useage as no one is likely to want to build a condo or office building there
 

JumboBuc

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There's a Globe article on this today. State is looking at the capped land south of Kneeland St, various sites in the Seaport, and a possible barge in Fort Point Channel or the Harbor.
 

CSTH

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Why not convert the parking lot on top of the south station bus terminal?
 

BostonUrbEx

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Is there a particular reason helicopters can't just go through Logan Airport? It is literally just a mile away.
 

bakgwailo

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Aren't Baker and Walsh pushing to get the parcels (by the steam plant/volley ball court) just north of their redeveloped? I would think a helipad right there would put a damper on that.
 

Semass

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Aren't Baker and Walsh pushing to get the parcels (by the steam plant/volley ball court) just north of their redeveloped? I would think a helipad right there would put a damper on that.
Aren't all of the hospital helipads, especially Tufts, right next to residential?
 

tysmith95

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Why don't we build a tower with a helipad on top. Problem solved.
 

Semass

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Seems to me that the biggest problem of the proposed site is the effect on the highway traffic. Rubberneckers are bad already. Add some helos in...
 

JumboBuc

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Is there a particular reason helicopters can't just go through Logan Airport? It is literally just a mile away.
Helicopters can go trough Logan, but access is inconvenient and expensive due to Logan's crowded airspace. And you can't just roll up to Logan and step right onto the helipad like you could at a dedicated helicopter facility.

Aren't all of the hospital helipads, especially Tufts, right next to residential?
Hospital helipads are given much more leeway than commercial helipads, by virtue of them being at hospitals.
 

Mongo

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Aren't Baker and Walsh pushing to get the parcels (by the steam plant/volley ball court) just north of their redeveloped? I would think a helipad right there would put a damper on that.
Because of all the highway ramps it's actually quite far from any potential building, at least 250 ft.

Also this area already has traffic noise from the highway and helicopter noise from being the main southern route into the city. Adding a landing pad there wouldn't really increase the noise level.

As for rubbernecking there would probably be some safety walls put up to prevent anything from being blown onto the roadways. So hopefully that would stop people from looking.
 

Semass

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This is an interesting puzzle. I wonder about the structure that appears to be a former drydock behind the Harborlights/Blue Hills Bank pavilion. It seems that Massport owned land would be an advantage over private or city owned since it is a transportation agency. It also seems that being on the waterfront would be a way for Massport to capture the proposed seaplane market to NYC. The Seaport has good access, parking and, not that it is needed, public transit. It is close to logan, Black Falcon, Conley, and other Massport infrastructure.
 

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