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Rescue Choppers & Non-Standard Helipads
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Rescue Choppers & Non-Standard Helipads

The burgeoning population in Tehran has made tall buildings inevitable. The number of high-rises has seen a huge spurt in recent years, said Mohammad Mahdi Tondguyan, vice-president of the Urbanism and Architecture Commission, Tehran City Council (TCC), adding that “in case of fire in high-rise buildings, the fire department will not be able to act effectively.”
The equipment the fire stations currently use is not designed to extinguish fire in buildings higher than seven-stories. Therefore rescue helicopters are needed to battle high-rise fires.
Getting quickly to a fire is important. But given the traffic congestion it would necessitate the use of rescue helicopters that are sophisticated and can rise to the occasion. But there are problems in the way of using helicopters, he said.
Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) has defined and notified helipad construction standards and regulations to the Tehran Municipality (TM). “Unfortunately, our assessment and evaluation reveals that the standards have not been met by the TM,” he said, ISNA reported.
Recently, the CAO in a letter to the municipality said that helicopter landing pads are not in compliance with the standards set, and differ in terms of size, material and structure specified.
“Many tall buildings have helipads but they are practically useless; this is a kind of fraud as the building residents have paid exorbitant costs towards a facility that in fact doesn’t exist,” he maintained.
 Violations
At present, 90% of the helipads are non-standard and the TM should be blamed for the poor quality since it has not monitored their compliance with the standards of construction.
The highest number of violations has occurred in Tehran’s district 22 which has 100 tall buildings with non-standard helipads.
Tondguyan also said a three-month deadline had been given to the TM to establish guidelines for the standardization of the unusable helipads.
He said even if the landing pads are ready, “our rescue helicopters are not ready to be put to use since we need more funding to use the helicopters. We don’t have adequate budget for chopper maintenance,” he said.
Earlier, Rahmatollah Hafezi, chairman of the Health Committee of the TCC, said 124 helipads were required in the capital, of which 49 had been constructed but were non-standard, and the remaining have yet to be built.

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