Oct. 6, 2022

The FAA recently published a new engineering brief offering design guidance for the development of vertiports supporting advanced air mobility (AAM) operations, following extensive collaboration with members of the NBAA AAM Roundtable and other stakeholders in this emerging industry.

Engineering Brief (EB) 105, “Vertiport Design,” outlines infrastructure requirements for facilities to be utilized by electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. It includes guidance for creation of new vertiport and smaller “vertistop” facilities, as well as adapting existing heliports and airports to support AAM operations.

Review the FAA EB 105 Vertiport Design (PDF)

Facilities covered by the EB would support AAM aircraft with a maximum gross weight of 12,500 lbs or less that utilize electric propulsion. “Our country is stepping into a new era of aviation,” said FAA Associate Administrator for Airports Shannetta Griffin, P.E. “These vertiport design standards provide the foundation needed to begin safely building infrastructure in this new era.”

“This is a critical step toward accommodating this new phase of aviation,” added Michael Meyers, P.E., manager of the FAA Airport Engineering Division. “This engineering brief will provide initial guidance for developing the infrastructure in which these new types of aircraft will operate at to improve the efficiency of our transportation system.”

The NBAA AAM Roundtable provides a forum for original equipment manufacturers of AAM aircraft and other systems to engage in such high-level planning discussions with sector leaders, to chart a course for the integration of AAM technologies into the nation’s airspace and infrastructure. Learn more about the NBAA AAM Roundtable.

“This inflection point in aviation will once again enable goods and people to move more efficiently,” said Matt Byrd, president and CEO of Hillwood Aviation and chair of the NBAA AAM Roundtable. “We welcome the FAA’s ongoing collaboration with the NBAA AAM Roundtable and engagement with other aviation industry and government stakeholders to foster AAM’s emergence not only as an inflection point for aviation, but really for our society as a whole.”

Alex Gertsen, NBAA director of airports and ground infrastructure, noted the association continues to work with the FAA as the agency moves toward the publication of an Advisory Circular addressing vertiport design standards slated for the 2024-2025 timeframe.

“NBAA and the AAM industry look forward to our continued partnership with the FAA, Congress, federal, state, local and tribal governments to continue moving aviation infrastructure forward at a pace that keeps up with developing technologies and community needs,” he added.

NBAA’s industry partners collaborating with FAA on this effort include Helicopter Association International, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Vertical Flight Society and the Aerospace Industries Association.