The city of Fort Worth Aviation Department is holding a public forum Wednesday on a proposed downtown public heliport.
According to the city, 26 percent of all helicopter operations are based in North Texas, yet Tarrant County has no public heliports. The city wants to fill that gap with a 4- to 8-acre facility that would accomodate 25-35 helicopters with a terminal, parking, fueling and hangars.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Andrew "Doc" Sessions Community Center at 201 S. Sylvania Ave., city leaders will offer a presentation (including a takeoff and landing by a helicopter) followed by Q&A with concerned citizens.
The city has not yet nailed down a location for the heliport, but they have narrowed the list of desired locations after taking into consideration navigable airspace, emergency access, community overflight, proximity to business centers and the ability to interface with surface transportation.
Working with an aviation consultant, stakeholders narrowed the proposed sites from seven to the following three:
* South of State Highway 121 and east of I-35W (north of Harmon Field Park and west of the Trinity River).
* Intermodal Transportation Center (on the eastern edge of downtown Fort Worth, between Jones Street and I-35W).
* Purina Plant (between East Weatherford Street and East Fourth Street, west of I-35W).
The heliport would be funded by aviation funds, and not tax dollars, per federal regulations.
Once a location is approved, construction is expected to begin later this year. The heliport is expected to be fully operational before the kickoff of Super Bowl XLV in Arlington.