Beach Helicopter to offer flights in spring


Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 09:26 AM.

DESTIN — After a brief lull, work has picked back up at the future site of Beach Helicopter.

"We just wanted to get through the holidays and now we are back at it," said Kim Langford, owner of the tourism helicopter company.

Once work is completed, Beach Helicopter will offer residents and visitors sightseeing flights along the Emerald Coast from a 6,000-square-foot helipad on their property, which is located on a parcel of land between BankTrust and Longhorn Steakhouse that abuts U.S. Hwy. 98 and Commons Drive.

Since submitting their application for a development order, Beach Helicopter has come under scrutiny from area residents, who were concerned with the safety of helicopters taking off and landing near their homes along Commons Drive.

Kelly Plantation resident Don Schroeder filed a petition against the development order, citing noise, noxious fumes and sand and dirt that would be blown around from the helicopters taking off and landing.

“It's more of an unsafe thing than it is anything else," he told The Log Monday, adding that he still had questions that he would like to see answered. "What happens if the company goes belly up? Does the permit stay with the company or the actual site?"

According to county officials, a development order and a building permit are not the same and are treated differently if they were to be transferred to a new owner. A development order, which is tied to a parcel identification number, goes with the property and is only good for one year if construction doesn't begin.

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