Weddings are taking off for Touchdown Helicopters which is expanding the business by operating out of two locations.
At the launch of the second annual Kiama I Do operations manager Christopher Hutton revealed how the business has grown to nine helicopters and a second base at Coniston.
"Weddings have become a big part of our business," Mr Hutton said.
"There are lots of different locations around the Illawarra that are happy to accept helicopters for weddings. It has become a massive consideration for brides and grooms. The bride usually wants to give it to the groom as a present. So it is usually a surprise for them on the way in. We are getting more of them all the time".
Mr Hutton said Coniston provided a wonderful opportunity to further expand the business. "The heliport was up for tender. We applied and won it which is a big boon for us because it allows us to extend our reach a little further".
Up until recently anyone who wanted to do a scenic flight would go to Albion Park Airport. But now the Touchdown Helicopters is primed to tap into the Wollongong tourism market as well.
"We are hoping we can have a presence at Wollongong Harbour so we can attract people down to the nearby heliport for flights. Part of our business is doing marine transfers and we fight fires. Having that facility allows us to get to the ships quickly with buckets underneath and not have to worry about flying over populated areas" .
Touchdown Helicopters has a training arm called Touchdown Training which will be built up at Albion Park Rail. Coniston heliport is likely to be used more for scenic flights and is well positioned for cruise ships.
"We literally just missed the boat when Explorer of the Seas came in but next time people can come straight off the ship and we can take them for a flight over Wollongong. We are having Coniston refitted. At the moment we are putting crew quarters in there and extending the concrete pad".
The old Westpac rescue helicopter base is already being put to good use in attracting large groups from Sydney. "We just had a delegation of 35 Koreans who were here for an LG summit in Sydney. We had them down two weeks ago. Part of that group we were able to do from the heliport because we just got the keys".
Touchdown Helictopters will be one of the star attractions at the Kiama I Do event on April 28 with a helicopter arriving to showcase the services the business can provide for weddings such as one recently at The Pavilion.
In its second year The Mercure Gerringong has come on board as an additional venue for Kiama I Do joining The Pavilion Kiama, The Sebel Kiama, Crooked River Winery and Culinarius Fine Catering.
Other businesses involved in the event and the launch included The Wedding Event Creators, Posy Jones Floral Co, Making Faces Makeup and Nail, Summa Cakes and Sweet Angels Bridal.