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Zoning Board approves Puerto Rico helipads

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THE Zoning Board has approved the conditional use application of Vertical Aviation, LLC which intends to construct two helipads and a hangar in Puerto Rico.

Acting Zoning Administrator Yubert Alepuyo said a heliport is permitted in the district as conditional use.

The project site is located on Lot numbers D11 and 117 D13 in Puerto Rico, which is zoned as industrial.

Zoning Board vice chairman Joe Ayuyu and members Tatiana Babauta and Frank Aguon voted to approve the application, which board chairman Mariano Taitano opposed, citing the safety of the adjacent areas and possible noise pollution.

“We don’t want to compromise the safety of the businesses and the public in the area,” he said, adding that there are also “lots of telephone poles there — we don’t live in a perfect world; accidents will happen.”

Moreover, he said the project site is near a petroleum bulk plant and a power plant.

Alepuyo, for his part, said the nearest residential home from the proposed helipad is 740 feet away.

Jonathan Jordan, maintenance manager and line pilot at Vertical Aviation, said their location will also not affect the business areas in Garapan.

The site, he added, “is already in an industrial area right next to the ports and it has good access.” He said they will not fly over residential housing areas.

Zoning Board member Tatiana Babauta noted that Vertical Aviation will offer air tours and charter flights for tourists.

“For the tourism industry, it will be great to have this company on island,” she added.

Alepuyo said the zoning staff recommended the approval of the conditional use permit application, adding that Vertical Aviation must still comply with the requirements, which include ensuring that its operations do not generate noise, odor or dust that will affect the neighborhood.

The company should likewise comply with other requirements from the other regulatory agencies, he added.

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