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Sydney Harbour is set to get a floating heliport next month, with flights to and from Sydney Airport joining the mandatory sight-seeing excursions.
The city's first heliport since a Darling Harbour service helipad in the late 1980s will be able to whisk business travellers from the Harbour to Mascot "in five minutes" says James Guest, director of Newcastle Helicopters, which will run the service from 7am to dusk.
Guest expects flights to be priced at $190 per person based on an 18 minute journey, and hopes to eventually several sites on the Harbour, including east of Fort Denison and near the new Barangaroo development.
The first heliport will be a simple flat-top barge located a short boat ride from Circular Quay, but by mid-2013 this will be replaced by a purpose-built helipad with its own meeting rooms.
The Sydney Business Chamber has predictably plonked down a welcome mat for the heliport.
"It's a commonsense outcome that puts Sydney in a similar position to other renowned global cities" says SBC chief Patricia Forsythe, adding that London, New York, Singapore and Melbourne already have helipads.
"As we see Barangaroo come online over the next few years and it grows as a financial services hub it will go hand-in-hand with a direct helicopter service between the new precinct and the airport."