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Fri, Mar 04, 2022

FAA Requests Comments on Vertiport Design

Engineering Bulletin Draft on eVTOL Framework In Development

The FAA's Office of Airports has begun requesting comments on the current draft for Vertiport Design. 

Engineering Brief 105 contains interim safety standards for those facilities that will soon dot the American landscape following the rapid proliferation of electric VTOL aircraft, making their execution part and parcel of safe and confidence-inspiring operations for a new aircraft type. The groundwork being laid out now could go on to become lasting bedrock in the transportation system for good, meaning any problems or shortcomings codified now could prove hard to address later on. 

The Engineering Brief, however, isn't permanent, being "intended as interim guidance for vertiport design until a more comprehensive, performance-based design Advisory Circular is developed." While temporary, the bulletin will be used as a measuring stick for certain initiatives in the works now.

"These guidelines are mandatory for vertiport projects receiving federal grant-in-aid assistance and for federally obligated airports," the bulletin continues. The agency warns that despite the ephemeral nature of the EB, construction efforts will be affected throughout its effective period until more lasting, fleshed out regulations are created. "The FAA recommends using the guidelines contained in this EB in the design of new civil vertiports, and for modifications of existing helicopter and airplane landing facilities to accommodate VTOL operations." 

For those interested in commenting have until April 18th to submit. A virtual industry day will be held on March 29 with additional information for interested stakeholders. 

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.federalregister.gov

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