Helicopters operate in an obstacle rich enviroment
Paragraph 77.23 Heliport Imaginary Surfaces
(a) Heliport primary surface. The area of the primary surface coincides in size and shape with the designated take-off and landing area of a heliport. This surface is a horizontal plane at the elevation of the established heliport elevation.
(b) Heliport approach surface. The approach surface begins at each end of the heliport primary surface with the same width as the primary surface, and extends outward and upward for a horizontal distance of 4,000 feet where its width is 500 feet. The slope of the approach surface is 8 to 1 for civil heliports and 10 to 1 for military heliports.
(c) Heliport transitional surfaces These surfaces extend outward and upward from the lateral boundaries of the heliport primary surface and from the approach surfaces at a slope of 2 to 1 for a distance of 250 feet measured horizontally from the centerline of the primary and approach surfaces.