The traditional helipad is a flat area of concrete where a helicopter can take off or land. It is away from hazards such as trees and cables and marked by a circle and an H, both of which are visible from above. While they are associated with the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous, they also play an important role in hospitals.
Many hospitals have their own helipads to facilitate the air ambulance and a surprising number of businesses and hotels offer a helipad service to time-poor executives and guests. Many are in city centres and they are often modular constructions of steel, set upon rooftops so as not to take up valuable land.
Offshore helipads, such as those on oil rigs, tend to be constructed of aluminium to prevent corrosion. Similar structures can also be found alongside lighthouses and even on large ships