A heliport is a small airport specifically designed to be used only by helicopters. Heliports usually contain one or more helipads and may have facilities for helicopters such as fuel, lighting, windsocks, and/or hangars. In larger towns and cities, customs facilities may be available at a heliport.
Unfortunately, due to the noise caused by helicopter traffic, heliports are not widespread but are used in some large metropolitan areas. Heliports can serve passengers that need to move within the city or to outlying regions with helicopter service. It is for this reason that heliports can be situated closer to a town or city center than airports for fixed-wing aircraft. In large urban areas, it is common for skyscrapers to feature rooftop helipads or heliports to serve the transportation needs of executives or clients. In addition, many police departments use heliports as a base for police helicopters, and larger departments may even have their own dedicated heliports. Helipads are commonly seen at hospitals, where they serve to facilitate air ambulance emergency transfers of patients to emergency room units or to accept patients from remote areas that do not have local hospitals. In urban environments or metropolitan areas, these heliports are typically located on the roof of the hospital.