The company Heliactivo, with Marc Hevesi at the controls landed a few years ago in the Alicante area.
An experienced pilot, trained in the United States, Marc has worked as a flight instructor for Miami Television and also collaborated with the police force.
His company based near Terra Mitica is a new tourist initiative for the area, designed to promote the helicopter as a fast and comfortable method of transport.
What does your company offer Marc?
We have a heliport fully equipped with all the necessary security measures to guarantee the safe landing of any type of aircraft. We also offer a refuelling service, have an aviation school, buy and sell helicopters and offer helicopter trips to tourists in the area.
What areas do you cover on the helicopter trips?
The most popular destinations are Benidorm, Altea, the coastline and its beaches but ultimately it depends on the client and what they wish to see. We also have flights inland and over the reservoirs in the area.
What gave you the idea to start a business of this type in the area?
I have always wanted to be a helicopter pilot ever since I was a child and when I was old enough I trained to become a pilot. The next step was to own my own helicopter so I could share my passion with others. Things took off from there.
What type of tourist uses your services?
There is no definite type, we have old and young adventurers. It is apt for all sectors of the public.
Is there a need for more activities such as this in the area?
Yes. The heliport for example creates a great image for the city, it is an expensive and costly infrastructure. The future of aviation is promising it is a sector that is constantly growing, cutting travel times which today is an important factor for all of us It is also an extremely comfortable method of transport..
Have you any immediate plans for expansion?
Yes. I hope to buy a new craft which seats 8 and this will enable me to transport more passengers, this new craft costs 3,000,000€. It is a large investment designed to increase the volume of passengers.
How much do your trips cost?
A flight in this areas for example would cost 100€ per hour, but you could also travel to Ibiza for 800€. The longest flight we have completed was from Malta to Spain. Our route took us over Italy and France, flying over some of the most famous towns and cities such as Tuscany, Pisa- Pompey or Sicily. The journey lasted 3 days and we stopped every two and a half hours to refuel and rest.
What maintenance do the helicopters need?
According to the regulations after every 50 hours of flight they should have maintenance so our craft are taken to Madrid. This is a service that we hope to be able to offer from 2011, maintenance for private aircraft. There are about 20 private aircraft in the Valencian Community , so we need to enlarge our hanger to be able to offer this service to our clients. We are also representatives for the Robinson Helicopters in this area and we are currently negotiating with another well know company that manufacture larger helicopters.
What media do you use to promote your activities?
Mainly leaflets or flyers which are distributed to the hotels but also via magazine articles and the internet. Word of mouth of course is very important in this type of business and the work we have provided speaks for itself; for example we worked on the aerial filming and photography during the America Cup and Volvo Ocean Race for which we are one of the official companies.
In your opinion what could Benidorm add to complete what is already on offer to the tourist?
Initiatives like ours raise the standard of Benidorm and in turn this encourages people to create new ventures. There are very few cities that have a heliport and we are lucky enough to have one . The land was given to us by the Theme Park Society in the Valencian Community and we are extremely grateful to them for that and for the continued support that they have given to us. It is a great future for Benidorm and the surrounding area.