How much does it cost to charter a helicopter?


When considering business helicopter charter or private helicopter hire for the first time, it is sometimes quite daunting to pick up the telephone and not understand fully what you need or think you need to be asking for. To this end, we have answered some of your questions for you.

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So, how much does it cost to hire a helicopter?

Firstly, we only charge for flight time. There is no waiting charge. The final cost depends on several factors:-

What type of helicopter you wish to fly in, i.e. a single or twin engine for instance;

Twin engine helicopters are capable of flying in most weather conditions and at night and are therefore more expensive than their single engine helicopter counterparts which are only capable of flying in daylight hours and less significant weather conditions;

Departure point and destination;

The location of your departure and destination points dictate how long the flight time will be. We quickly divide the distance by the average enroute flight speed to determine an approximate flight time to your destination. We then multiply this figure by the hourly rate of the helicopter to determine the ‘helicopter flying cost’ before adding further costs associated with your flight, such as landing fees, overnight expenses (if necessary) etc….

Can we land anywhere?

The answer to this is ‘NO’. However subject to the site:-

  1. Meeting the specific helicopter type’s performance requirements; and
  2. The land owner giving permission for such a landing;

Then in most cases, a helicopter landing can be arranged.

Should we not be able to land directly at your chosen departure and/or destination point, we can usually find an alternative landing site within 10-minutes drive time.

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Number of passengers travelling;

The number of passengers ultimately dictates what size of helicopter you will need as most charter helicopters carry between four & eight passengers. Larger helicopters are not readily available in the UK on-shore helicopter market but provision can be made to supply more than one helicopter if necessary.

Helicopters are somewhat weight restricted also. Meaning that the larger the passenger number, ultimately the less fuel can be carried. This may necessitate a fuelling stop enroute to your destination.

Will the flight be a one way, day return or possibly overnight return;

This information will probably have a significant bearing on the final quotation cost although a one way price will probably not be half of a day return price for instance!

Date of intended flight;

The date of your intended flight would be helpful in determining an accurate quotation as the helicopter fleet may be tied up on other tasks or events which are historically attended.

Time of day / night for intended flight;

This will determine whether the flight you have in mind is capable of being performed within a pilot’s duty hours and whether airfield or landing site extension fees may be required. Some landing sites are daylight hours only and some sites are both day and night but the night time flight may require specific night time landing lights erected.

Will you require more than one pilot.

Some clients for insurance purposes and also piece of mind request a second pilot and the addition of a second pilot will incur an extra cost.

Ultimately, the more accurate the information you can provide the more accurate your flight quotation will be. Our Operations Department will always be able to assist with determining your exact requirements!

Other questions which are commonly asked:-

Where can we land a helicopter in London?

Battersea Heliport

There are several sites around the London area that we regularly land however there is only Battersea Heliport in Central London.London helicopter charter tasks for business tend to emanate from Battersea whilst private helicopter hire requirements will on most occasions be from other sites in / around the London area. Our operations department has a comprehensive list of available London helicopter landing sites.

How low can we fly for the purpose of aerial filming?

The lowest we can fly is determined by the area in which we are filming. Over a congested area, with an aerial filming permission, we can fly as low as 750 feet above ground level.

In open countryside, we can fly as low as 500 feet above the ground. In sparse areas we can fly even lower however this is always limited to a height to which the commander deems to be safe!

How much does a helicopter cost to buy and then operate?

This depends on the type of helicopter being purchased primarily as they obviously come in different sizes and capabilities. Persons looking at buying a helicopter should always consult a respected helicopter company to assist with buying the right helicopter at the right price. That company may also then be able to operate, manage, charter, hangar and maintain your new helicopter on your behalf thus helping to offset your own personal running costs. Please do however take advice before purchasing!!


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