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I've been listening to the Phoenix Tower LiveATC feed, and I hear references to "Hee-lah" (Gila?) One and the 101 transition with helicopters (see audio files below):

Angel-Five

TV-3

TV-15

Does anyone know what these are? References would be appreciated if possible. Thanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ I have all IFR procedures on my iPad and cannot find a SID or STAR into or out of PHX with a similar name. Is the airport Phoenix Sky Harbor? $\endgroup$ – Michael Hall Jan 31 at 23:29
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, Phoenix Sky Harbor. I looked on Airnav and on Skyvector and couldn't find a departure chart with "HELO" on it. I also checked the TAC chart and didn't see anything. $\endgroup$ – slantalpha Feb 1 at 3:56
  • $\begingroup$ Are these recent recordings? $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Feb 1 at 5:56
  • $\begingroup$ You should be looking for Gila. It's the name of a highway, a town, a monster and who knows what else. and 101 is a freeway both east and west of Sky Harbor. $\endgroup$ – Tim Nevins Feb 1 at 13:23
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The Gila is a river that runs through Arizona, so that may be a visual reporting point for incoming aircraft.

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  • $\begingroup$ Through Arizona and, more specifically, through Phoenix! $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Feb 1 at 14:27
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This is second hand information but I've heard from a reputable source that "Gila One" is a reference to the LOA for HEMS, law enforcement and news choppers operating in and around the PHX Bravo. It defines altitudes and transition procedures for those operators but is not a "public procedure". You can probably request a copy of the LOA from the airport manager. And as others have said, the 101 is the major North/South interstate on the east side of the airport and passes through the surface Bravo.

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I have been unable to confirm this as I can't find any helicopter specific charts for the area, but I think they are asking for the HELO one route and the 101 is apparently a major highway in the area and probably a local vfr reference point.

Bigger airports may have separate published helicopter routes to arrive and depart helicopters away from the pattern traffic.

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There was once a GEELA STAR. I can’t find a good image of the chart for it, though. In 2013 the FAA did an optimization of theMetroplex airspace, the result of which was that the GEELA STAR was replaced by the HYDRR STAR.

If you look at the frequency information on the Airnav page for KPHX you will see that there is a frequency assigned for the GEELA STAR. I can only speculate that ATC might still use GEELA informally for helicopter traffic.

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  • $\begingroup$ GEELA is the waypoint after HYDRR on the HYDRR STAR. However, the OP's first audio clip was for a departure, so it doesn't make sense that they'd be referring to a STAR. $\endgroup$ – StephenS Feb 1 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenS It's not exactly a departure. They're coming from heliports west of the airport, passing through the terminal area to destinations on the east side. I find no evidence of there being any published helicopter procedures. Although GEELA STAR is no longer published as such, they still list a frequency for it, so it must be still used for something. It's all a guess, really $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Feb 1 at 20:38

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