Main Heliport

The Main Heliport was located on Fort Wolters and contained parking spaces for 500 helicopters together with a  35,000 sq. foot maintenance hanger,  14 briefing rooms,  a fire station,  maintenance support shops, a paint shop, administrative offices and a control tower.

In the higher ground just to the north of the Main Heliport was a Nike Hercules Battery,   one of four located around the Dallas and Fort Worth area during the Cold War era.

The airspace around the Fort Wolters training area was among the most crowded in the world. It was especially congested when the training fleet returned back to the Main Heliport after the morning and after-noon training periods. As the returning helicopters approached Fort Wolters, they formed into long “daisy-chains” of many dozens of aircraft.

To maintain spacing and ensure control, all landings and take-offs at the Main Heliport were divided into East or West traffic patterns. During landings, all approaching aircraft all entered the traffic pattern using either the East or West Area Marker as the Initial Point (IP) of entry. The Area Marker was a 36 foot square panel and was overflown at 1500' in West traffic and 1800' in East traffic.

Once the IP was passed, all traffic was separated further by splitting up to cross the Outer Markers. These were large (24' x 24') panels on the ground that were painted different colors to be readily visible from the air. As the brush and undergrowth was always cleared leading to them, they were easy to locate.

Crossing the Outer Markers, it was easy to follow the color-matched poles that led to the final Approach Marker which was overflown at 1200' - from the Approach Marker it was just a short distance to terminate the flight in a hover on the Approach Panel on the heliport.

It was a simple and safe procedure. Similar procedures were followed for take-offs. Traffic using the Main Heliport stayed north of U.S. Highway 180, while traffic using Downing AHP stayed to the south of U.S. Highway 180.


Below is a recent aerial view of the Main heliport: