- "So many things to see and people to do deciding where to go can be a daunting task in Liberty City. From Middle Park to Star Junction to Firefly Island, this vibrant city is jam-packed with famous sites and landmarks. It will take you weeks to even scratch the surface. Weazel News will tell you that the only people interested in Liberty City's historic buildings these days are democracy-hating terrorists but the Triangle Building, Grand Easton Terminal, Civic Citadel and Rotterdam Tower are pieces of classic architecture not to be missed."
- ―GTA IV Guidebook.
Grand Theft Auto IV
Higgins Helitours gives helicopter tours using the company's own Mavericks at a price of $150 a ride. A Higgins advertisement on TV boasts the advantages of helitours over bus tours, claiming a fun and safe adventure in the sky (while footage shows various helicopters crashing at land and sea; however, there is no such danger when the player takes a tour).
The company bases its operations at a landing platform situated off the shores of Castle Gardens and Fishmarket South, Algonquin on Bus Lane Street. The layout of the landing platform as well as its location hint that the helipad may be based on the Downtown Manhattan Heliport in New York City, although the terminal building is completely different.
Pedestrians can be seen waiting in a queue to ride in the helicopters. Some operators will instruct people to go to the helicopters by repeatedly pointing towards the helicopters. When a helicopter is free, at most three people will approach and enter the helicopter. The pilot will take off, beginning their tour.
The name Higgins is apparently a reference to a character in the TV show Magnum P.I., and the tour company was originally to be named "Magnum Helitours". The company uses the slogan "We'll never go down on you", a reference to oral sex and possibly to air accidents.
Grand Theft Auto V
Higgins Helitours appears once again in Grand Theft Auto V. It is located at the Vespucci Helipad on Shank Street in Puerto Del Sol, Los Santos. While the player cannot take a helitour in the game (as the tour feature was instead used for the Vinewood Star Tours service), it is possible to buy the helipad with Franklin or Michael and store helicopters there.
Types of Tours
|N/A||Humboldt River||"She's dirty, she's deep and she has her secrets, you betcha..."|
|Broker||"A borough that's particularly pleased with itself, home to artists and such, need I say more?"|
|Broker Bridge||"An open invitation to terrorism, let's hope Ochoa has the stones to protect us all. Great view, huh?"|
|Hove Beach||"Little Sodam as some call it, a nest of sin, all of East Europe moves in to spread crime like jelly over LC. Heard the name Kenny Petrovic folks? He's a Hove Beach landmark too, turning this whole area to shit. Shit, people, shit."|
|Firefly Island||"Where some remnants of the glory days can still be seen. Even after they tore out its heart."|
|Fishmarket North||"Where complaining immigrants arrive by the masses. History, it's right there, and we haven't learned a thing."|
|N/A||Daily Globe Building||"Home to all the LC news, the murders, the robberies and the immigrants taking our jobs."|
|Cleethorpes Tower||"Where millionaires can go to the top floor, lean over the marble balcony, and spit on ordinary Americans."|
|The Libertonian||"It's closed for renovation, disappointing arty Liberal kids with their ideas about how there's no God."|
|North Holland||"If you look down now folks, you'll see three generations refusing to help themselves."|
|Vespucci University||"You can spot the library, where they get their long hair stuck in their fancy books."|
|Golden Pier||"All manner of ways for chubby, spoiled brats, to get whipped into a sugar frenzy."|
|N/A||South Algonquin||"A den of vice and corruption the likes of which most of you folks will never see again."|
|Castle Gardens Construction Site||"Now a new development, where Yusuf Amir is building more apartments for his foreign buddies to live in tax-free."|
|Colony Island||"I always think of this place as like, Algonquin's appendix: it's there, but nobody knows why."|
|The Von Crastenburg Center||"That is some serious all-American dough right there, I shit you not. Mon-ey."|
|Rotterdam Tower||"A buddy of mine tried a base jump off that bad boy. Man, those guards might be tubby, but they can move."|
|The Libertonian||"I've never been in there, but it sure is popular with you visitors. Full of old stuff, crammed with it."|
|Middle Park East||"There's a guy lives in a bush, can get you anything that smokes. Anything."|
|East Holland Projects||"This won't be in guide books, you'd have to be one extreme tourist. Gnarly."|
|GetaLife Building||"Yep, when the hippies were distracted with weed and shit, those money guys never missed a beat."|
|Civic Citadel||"I once flew the Mayor in this chopper, oh yeah, good guy, I mean, I don't vote or anything but nice guy."|
|Chinatown||"Come back for food poisoning or a massage with the happiest ending in the City."|
|The Exchange||"High flying workers here are calling in debt and ruining lives all over the country. Now that's how to get rich!"|
|Castle Gardens||"Workers in the exchange often live here in Castle Gardens. They can concentrate on making money in peace and quiet."|
|N/A||West River||"Every day, Algonquin residents are grateful that this is here to keep us separate from Alderney."|
|Statue of Happiness||"That statue is such a great emblem of the Freedom of Speech and Expression that makes America the best country in the world."|
|Civic Citadel||"Where Mayor Ochoa makes all his important decisions to keep LC running smooth. It was here that Ochoa eased safety restrictions on Helicopters and their pilots. He saved our tourism industry that day."|
The Major Bridges
|Broker Bridge||"Used in many movies and TV shows. It was recently targeted by terrorists in Weazel's 72."|
|Charge Island Lighthouse||"Just a little reminder that we all need a guide through the rocky waters, don't we folks?"|
|East Borough Bridge||"Really shows how Liberty City brings people together, and then the LCPD has to keep them apart."|
|East Holland Projects||"Ah, the housing projects of the world's finest city. I've seem war zones folks, and I can tell you, you're looking at one."|
|Middle Park||"A peaceful haven for so many LC residents, and only eighty-six murders last year, that's a record!"|
|Majestic Hotel||"Found in story and song. If those sheets could tell stories, right folks?"|
|Columbus Cathedral||"Nice, huh? Of course, once you've seen war, God is a joke, but would you look at that architecture?"|
|Leaper's Bridge||"Still the record-holder for suicides. Well, if you're going to do it, do it right, huh?"|
|N/A||Union Drive||"Built during an unprecedented reign of organized crime, they say it has fifteen bodies within it's cement."|
Flying all tours at least once will earn the player the Sightseer achievement/trophy. The different tours are obtainable by boarding each of the helicopters in turn. Not all helicopters will be there at the same time; usually two or three at a time are available.
- During multiplayer in GTA IV and Party Mode in The Lost and Damned, 4 Annihilators spawn here instead of the Helitours Mavericks. In The Ballad of Gay Tony multiplayer, a Buzzard will spawn here.
- Helitours pilots will appear at Francis International Airport with pedestrian behavior (i.e. smoking).
- During the tour that leads along the major bridges, the pilot makes a mistake when he tells about the lighthouse of Charge Island. He means the lighthouse of Colony Island.
- Luis Fernando Lopez was trained at Higgins Helitours. A certificate in Luis' Apartment proves this.
- Niko can optionally hijack any of the helicopters; the player must be careful not to do this if the desire is to actually take a tour.
- Killing the pilot of a helicopter before he lands and after taking off without destroying the helicopter will continue the tour as it normally would until the helicopter lands which will cause it to continuously spin in circles.
- In The Ballad of Gay Tony, there is a small parking lot outside the Helitours Building but in Grand Theft Auto IV and The Lost and Damned, there is just pavement there.
- When taking the tours in The Lost and Damned, Johnny Klebitz will mostly reply back to the pilot by complaining about the helicopter itself, because he is scared of heights.
- The player cannot bring out their phone or perform drive-bys during the tours.
- If the player start shooting an airborne Higgins Helitours Maverick flying over their position with a Sniper Rifle, a three star Wanted Level will be given to them, just as if they were shooting an LCPD Police Maverick. The Helitours Maverick will then fly towards the player, and once again, just like a Police Maverick, it will begin to hover over the player, even though there are no police officers inside.