Plans to build a floating heliport on the Swan River have received environmental approval, but noise remains a public concern.
The Department of Parks and Wildlife’s approval is a major step forward for the proposal, which includes plans to construct two helipads on the city foreshore, 200 metres east of Elizabeth Quay.
The helipads would float on a pontoon-style platform, 20 metres offshore.
One of the helipads would be privately run and used for tourism, while the other would be reserved for emergency services.
During a public consultation period this year, some nearby residents complained that helicopter noise and water spray would affect them.
Skyline Aviation partner Brett Campany, whose company is competing with Heliwest to construct and operate the helipads, said noise data research had already been completed.
“We know that noise is going to be the biggest issue,” he said.
“We’ve also made dedicated flight paths that go out toward the middle of the river with a max rate of climb to reduce noise in the immediate vicinity.
“Our shortest flight will be 20 minutes, which means you’re only looking at about two flights per hour.”
Mr Campany said his company was also looking at “quieter technology” for their joy rides, but that the noise caused by helicopters using the other helipad was out of his control.
“Other helicopter companies and private operators are going to be able to use that as well but we can’t control what kind of helicopters come down,” he said.
The Department of Parks and Wildlife said noise and hours of operation would be determined through a separate River Reserve Lease.
This lease would govern the day-to-day operation of the helipad to minimise its impact on residents and local businesses.
The helipads have already been approved by the City of Perth, making the River Reserve Lease the final hurdle.