Van Nuys Airport Honors Alan Purwin With Helicopter Play Structure

Van Nuys Airport Honors Alan Purwin With Helicopter Play Structure

December 18, 2018

Van Nuys Airport (VNY) honored the late Alan Purwin of Helinet Aviation today with the dedication of a helicopter themed play structure at the airport’s observation area. The dedication came the same day as Van Nuys Airport celebrated its 90th anniversary. "Alan Purwin’s contributions to both aviation and the film industry have been truly remarkable,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez. “We are pleased to honor his lifelong career and his philanthropic generosity with something tangible that brings joy and happiness to children visiting the airport.”  

Purwin was an American helicopter pilot, entrepreneur and philanthropist. During his career, he contributed to the aerial cinematography industry and aided in the filming of hundreds of Hollywood movies and was regarded as one of the top film pilots of his generation. Purwin co-founded West Coast Helicopters in 1987, which became Helinet Aviation in 1998, to fulfill his goal of providing the safest, most responsive and reliable helicopter services for the medical, charter, production and electronic news gathering industries.

Twenty years ago, Purwin started his mission of supporting Children's Hospital Los Angeles by dedicating two specially equipped helicopters to transport critically ill children from across the region for life-saving treatment. Purwin agreed to fund the program, billing insurance when possible, but otherwise underwriting the cost. Board of Airport Commissioner Jeffery added, "This is the only helicopter transport program for Children's Hospital LA. Helinet's two helicopters have transported more than 9,000 critically ill children for life-saving treatment." On September 11, 2015, Purwin was a passenger in a fatal airplane crash in the Andean natural region of Colombia.

“Alan always had a heart for the well-being of others, especially children. We are grateful for the opportunity to honor Alan and keep his legacy alive in the aviation community he was extraordinarily passionate about,” said his wife, Kathryn Purwin, CEO of Helinet. Guests witnessed the helicopter play structure dedication ceremony, which included a speaking program featuring Councilwoman Nury Martinez, Board of Airport Commissioners member Jeffery Daar, Van Muys Airport Manager Flora Margheritis, CM, and Helinet Aviation Chief Executive Officer Kathryn Purwin. The celebration concluded with light refreshments and the chance for children to play in the helicopter’s interactive 3D cockpit as make-believe pilots. 


About Van Nuys Airport VNY is one of two airports owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a self-supporting branch of the City of Los Angeles, governed by a seven-member Board of Airport Commissioners who are appointed by the mayor and approved by the Los Angeles City Council. Dedicated to noncommercial air travel, VNY averages over 230,000 takeoffs and landings annually. More than 100 businesses are located on the 730-acre airport, including four major fixed-base operators and numerous aviation service companies. Annually, the airport contributes approximately $2 billion to the Southern California economy and supports over 10,000 jobs. In addition, VNY promotes business and provides critical general aviation and emergency services. Business travelers and tourists using private, corporate and charter aircraft benefit from the airport's convenient proximity to city business, recreation and entertainment centers. The airport also provides a base and maintenance facilities for fire, police, air ambulance, search and rescue, and news media aircraft that serve the region. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at and Instagram at

About Helinet Aviation Helinet Aviation Services is a diversified helicopter transportation provider located in Van Nuys, California. With over 30 years in business, the company has earned a highly trusted and widely respected industry-wide reputation for its exceptional pilots, unparalleled service, and an outstanding safety record. Helinet serves the following markets: VIP transportation, emergency medical services including patient and organ transport, electronic news gathering, motion picture, television and commercial production, airborne law enforcement, and helicopter fleet management. Its mission is, and has always been, to be Southern California’s preferred carrier for safe, responsive and reliable rotor wing transportation. For more information: