Downtown Manhattan Heliport opened on December 8, 1960, supplementing the existing heliport at West 30th Street which opened in 1956. During the 1960s and 1970s New York Airways provided scheduled service from the heliport to the city's major airports. Scheduled passenger service was discontinued in the mid-1980s. In 2006 US Helicopter resumed scheduled passenger service with hourly flights to John F. Kennedy International Airport until November 2009 as US Helicopter ceased all services.
The heliport covers an area of 2 acres (0.81 ha) at an elevation of 7 feet (2 m) above mean sea level. It has one helipad designated H1 with a 62 x 62 ft (19 x 19 m) concrete surface. For the 12-month period ending December 30, 2003, the airport had 10,002 aircraft operations, an average of 27 per day: 90% general aviation and 10% military.
According to New York City Economic Development Corporation estimates, there were over 56,000 sightseeing tourist helicopter trips in 2014 operating from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport. This excludes helicopters used by the police and hospitals, or even private business and leisure charters. In 2014, nontourist flights accounted for merely 1,936 of the 58,021 flights taking off from the downtown heliport.