Helicopter tours in Montenegro are increasing. Landings and take-offs are controlled by regulations, local flights are possible from private heliports, while international flights by helicopters must pass customs control, which is only possible at Podgorica and Tivat airports. The helicopter lease is usually carried out from Tivat Airport to Dubrovnik. There are also restrictions on heliports existing on hotels and within hotel resorts.
According to marketing and communications manager Adrijana Husic, at the complex Portonovi in Kumbor, which recently opened its doors, the licensing of the heliport is currently underway, and it is due to open next year.
"We also plan to use our heliport for international flights once it is operational," Husic said.
A take-off heliport has just been opened in Porto Montenegro, from which the take-offs and landings are allowed, located not far from the administrative building of “Adriatic Marinas”.
"So far, only local flights are allowed," said Danilo Kalezic, PR and marketing manager of Adriatic Marinas.
As “Pobjeda” was told at the Civil Aviation Control Agency, helicopter landings and take-offs in international air traffic are allowed only at and from international airports, and exceptionally and from those airports that are not designated for international air traffic, provided the operator ensures the application of the rules on crossing the state borders at their own expense.
“There are two international airports in Montenegro, Podgorica and Tivat, and international flights are only allowed to and from them, whether these are commercial or non-commercial flights. Apart from Montenegro Airports, there are no other airport operators that have met the regulations regarding the operation of international flights,” the Agency said.
The conduct of non-commercial or private helicopter flights within Montenegro is permitted predominantly within the framework of the regulatory requirements defined in the Regulation on conditions and manner for out-of-airport landing and take-off of aircraft.
Hotels Group Montenegro Stars, the Agency said, are licensed to use their heliport under certain restrictions, but this heliport cannot be used for international air traffic.
The accountable manager of the Airways aviation academy and charter airline in Montenegro Vuk Stojanovic points out that there are restrictions on where and how a helicopter can land and take off.
"If you were to travel from here to Croatia, the aircraft must be sterile, i.e., it must have passed all the controls that all passengers flying in it were "checked" to enter another country," Stojanovic explained.
There are, he says, small airports in the world from where commercial traffic takes place, where customs and police are there also.
"This practice can be applied here, as well. In our case, the landing and take-off must comply with international air traffic regulations, which applies to international flights. Within the country, such flights are possible," Stojanovic said, emphasizing that another limitation of the helicopter's performance is to land on a hotel’s heliport, building, or yacht.
The helicopter, in this case, must be two-engine.
"There is one such private helicopter in Montenegro, not counting the MUP and the army. Our helicopter is turbine and of good performances, but it is single-engine and according to the regulations it should not land on a hotel or any other building and anywhere near the populated area, because in case of one engine’s failing you do not have great possibilities to maneuver and therefore the chances of a major accident are great," Stojanovic explained.
He added that there were a lot of restrictions that they eased in agreement with the Agency.
“To land somewhere other than a public area, like Zabljak, you can land in a meadow, but you need a permit from the owner and approval from the Agency. It's an off-airport landing, and to be able to land outside the airport, you need to have pilots who are trained for it," explains Stojanovic.
He says tourists are mostly looking to connect from Tivat to Djurdjevica Tara because they go rafting. That ride costs about 2500 euros, depending on the length of the wait. In addition, panoramic flights are also requested at about 300 meters height, and the transfer from Dubrovnik to Tivat are dominant, and vice versa.
"This is because in July and August, the journey between these two cities by car takes up to four to five hours. The tour costs 1000 euros and is only for those who have a deep pocket,” concluded Stojanovic.
Text by Pobjeda, on August 22nd, 2019, read more at CdM