Vatican City Heliport

Portus helicopterorum Civitatis Vaticanae

Eliporto di Città del Vaticano
Daytime view of Vatican City Heliport, looking west
Owner/OperatorState of Vatican City
ServesVatican City
LocationVatican Gardens, Vatican City
Time zoneCET (UTC+01:00)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+02:00)
Elevation AMSL75 m / 246 ft
Coordinates41°54′07″N 12°26′47″E / 41.9020°N 12.4465°E / 41.9020; 12.4465
Map showing heliport in Vatican City
Map showing heliport in Vatican City
Portus helicopterorum Civitatis Vaticanae is located in Vatican City
Portus helicopterorum Civitatis Vaticanae
Portus helicopterorum Civitatis Vaticanae
Location on a map of Vatican City
Number Length Surface
m ft
25 × 17 82 × 56 Concrete

Vatican City Heliport (Latin: Portus helicopterorum Civitatis Vaticanae, Italian: Eliporto di Città del Vaticano) consists of a 25 × 17 m (82 × 56 ft) rectangular concrete landing area linked with a circular parking area.[1] It is used for short journeys from or to Vatican City by the pope and visiting heads of state.


The heliport is at 75 m (246 ft) above sea level, in the French-style portion of the Vatican Gardens, and is referred to also as a helipad.[2][3][4][5] It is situated in the westernmost bastion of the Leonine Wall, which marks the westernmost point of Vatican City State.


It was constructed in 1976 under Pope Paul VI (1963–1978), facilitating transfers between Vatican City and the summer papal residence at Castel Gandolfo for occasions such as the regular Wednesday general audience, when travel by car could take a couple of hours each way and would cause inconvenience to other road users.

In 1978, Pope John Paul II had a bronze statue representing Our Lady of Częstochowa placed nearby.


Flights are conducted only in visual meteorological conditions by visual flight rules.

Worldwide publicity was given to the heliport on the afternoon of 28 February 2013, when Pope Benedict XVI departed Vatican City for Castel Gandolfo mere hours before his resignation took effect.[6][7]

Since 2015, the heliport also serves—in urgent cases—the Bambino Gesù Hospital to transport patients, personnel, and medical equipment.[8]

The helicopter used for the pope is an AgustaWestland AW139 of the Italian Air Force.

See also


  1. ^ Ronald V (27 April 2013). "Vatican City heliport". Abandoned, Forgotten and Little Known Airfields in Europe. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  2. ^ "Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Jimmy Carter, 1980–1981". 2 (24 May to 26 September 1980). National Archives and Records Administration: 1242. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Povoledo, Elizabeth (2 May 2013). "With Benedict's Return, Vatican Experiment Begins". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  4. ^ "Pope's Reign Ends After Emotional Farewell". Sky News. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  5. ^ "Tag Archives: Vatican City". The Aviationist. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  6. ^ "Pope leaves Vatican for last time". BBC News. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  7. ^ "The Pope leaves the Vatican for the last time". The Daily Telegraph. 28 February 2013. Archived from the original on 28 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  8. ^ "Children's Hospital to Use Vatican Helipad For Patient Transport". Zenit. 20 July 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-20.