Sustainability and Helicopter Tours

Climate change due to the ever-increasing rate of CO worldwide2-Production is on everyone's lips and increasingly visible. The tropical storms in the hurricane season around Florida, which have almost become a habit, are getting stronger and stronger and massive flooding in Southeast Asia we only know from the news in Europe. Then came the events in the Ahr Valley, which was literally washed away in July 2021 due to massive rainfall. Possible answers are electromobility, sustainable packaging and materials or away from globalization and back to local sourcing. All these aspects are complex and for each factor there are certainly several arguments for and against. The ideal would be to avoid CO altogether2-producing activities.

Climate protection: are helicopter sightseeing flights still up to date?

helicopter flight sustainability environment

Should we, as inhabitants of this planet, therefore do without all unnecessary things? What exactly is “unnecessary” and who decides that? After all, every inhabitant of planet earth has the same right to a fulfilled life, and just because the world's population is growing every day, we humans emit more and more CO with every breath we take2 out. However, this is generally attributed to the natural cycle and thus declared as climate-neutral. Should we then do without things that are fun and make life worth living because it is "unnecessarily" CO2 produced? That would be a drastic strategy - there is a better one: offsetting with CO2-degradative measures.

How much CO2 does a helicopter tour produce?

carbon dioxide co2 helicopter exhaust

The helicopter most commonly used for helicopter sightseeing flights is of the type Robinson R44 with a 6-cylinder piston engine from Lycoming. The consumption is around 55 liters of aviation fuel (AVGAS) per flight hour. The combustion of 1 liter of avgas generates about 2,3kg of CO2 – a 20-minute sightseeing flight with 3 passengers + pilot in the R44 generates an estimated 42,17kg of CO2. So 14kg CO per passenger2.

For comparison: a Bell 206 “Jetranger” turbine helicopter requires 100 liters of kerosene per hour. The combustion of 1 liter of kerosene generates about 2,53kg of CO2 – a 20-minute sightseeing flight in a Jetranger therefore generates an estimated 84,33 kg of CO2. Because the Bell 206 has space for the pilot + 4 passengers, there is one CO per capita for a 20-minute round trip2-Load of 21,08kg per passenger.

How much CO2 does a tree filter out of the air?

Sustainability forest trees green

It is assumed that every tree worldwide emits around 10kg of CO on average2 filtered out of the air every year. Assuming a simplified tree lifespan of 100 years, a single tree creates 1.000kg of CO in its lifetime2 from the air. In this way we make a meaningful contribution to the topic of environmental protection and CO2-Compensation and filter significantly more CO in total2 from the atmosphere than is produced by burning fuel.

Sustainability through CO2-Compensation: One tree for each helicopter tour has therefore decided, starting immediately (November 2022), to plant a tree in Germany for every sightseeing flight we carry out - exactly where the CO2 also arises from helicopter sightseeing flights. In a first step, that's 100 trees for that area in the southern Harz. At the same time, we offer our customers the opportunity to voluntarily increase this number by purchasing additional trees together with the ticket. To this end, we are climate protection partners of the organization based in Germany PLANT MY TREE® become.

Heliflieger Sustainability partner logo plan my tree
  • PLANT-MY-TREE® is the leading provider of tree donations in Germany. In recent years, PLANT-MY-TREE® has planted over a million trees in Germany.
  • PLANT MY TREE® currently has over 100 planting areas in Germany and thus compensates where our helicopters CO2 produce and not somewhere in the Amazon or anywhere else.
  • Only mixed forests that are heat and drought resistant are planted.
  • The 3-year-old plants come from Germany, which supports local tree nurseries and preserves jobs.
  • After the trees have been successfully planted, they are handed over to a foundation that protects them from commercial use on their own land for the maximum legal period of 99 years.
  • PLANT-MY-TREE® was certified by TÜV Rheinland in 2014 according to DIN ISO 9001:2008 and again in 2020 according to DIN ISO 9001:2015.
tree certificate Heliflieger Sustainability climate protection helicopter
co2 climate protection compensation for helicopter sightseeing flights