For over 100 years, ASTM has been creating international standards for transportation infrastructure and more. Now, with the future of aerial mobility in mind, the company has released an 11-page standards document for vertiports to be used by upcoming eVTOL aircraft.
ASTM been creating international standards since as early as 1898 for railways, and currently has over 12,000 standards in operation globally.
Vertiport concept by Ferrovial
The newest standards release by ASTM, named the Standard Specification for Vertiport Design, “defines the requirements for the planning, design, and establishment of vertiports intended to service vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft.” According to the overview from ASTM, every kind of eVTOL aircraft was considered in the creation of this document, including Multi-Rotor, Lift & Cruise, Vectored Thrust, Tilt-Wing, and Tilt-Rotor, as well as possibilities for piloted, optionally piloted, and unmanned aircraft. The document does not apply to aircraft under 55 lbs.
In the document, standards specifications are made for components of civil vertiports and vertistops like occupant and cargo transport, air medical, flight instruction, aerial work, aircraft rental, fueling, charging of energy storage devices, battery exchange, hangaring, and maintenance services.
Notbaly, ASTM uses this document to provide separate standards for both vertiports and ‘vertistops’. It defines a vertistop as having the same geometry and airspace as a vertiport, but without fueling, defueling, scheduled maintenance, scheduled repairs, or storage of aircraft. According to ASTM, a vertistop facility would be meant for the discharge of passengers or cargo only.
Vertiport concept by Ferrovial
Said ASTM International Fellow Jonathan Daniels, “Everyone involved in the development and implementation of AAM transportation, and its supporting infrastructure will find this standard extremely helpful.” Said Rex Alexander, another ASTM International member, “The challenge in developing this standard was in balancing safety with practicality. Without empirical aircraft performance data to rely on, the team’s goal was to develop a practical standard as a starting point that is not only safety centric but provides municipalities with a common-sense path forward.”
The full standards document from ASTM can be downloaded here.
The vertiport standards were created over the course of a five-year effort by ASTM, with the stipulation that local governments will of course still have the right to decide to what extent these standards are applied, and will still be responsible for all safety regulations. The document serves as a guideline of standards for vertiports, which governments can use to build of off as a baseline rather than starting from scratch.
The effort also relates to several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action.
Vertiport Concept by Ferrovial
Why it’s important: While governments worldwide will still have the responsibility and ability to set regulations standards on eVTOLs and vertiports, the ASTM documentation provides an excellent set of standards which vertiport designers can follow to create excellent experiences both for travellers and the areas in which vertiports are built. In addition, ASTM takes a further step by also creating standards for ‘vertistops’, which it recognizes as an integral part of Advanced Aerial Mobility networks. By looking at the big picture for aerial mobility networks, ASTM has begun to lay a foundation for what eVTOL networks in cities and more could look like globally.
Source // ASTM International, Urban Air Mobility News, Ferrovial
- Skyportz Announces Plans for Australia’s First Vertiport in Melbourne (August 2022)
- World’s First Vertiport Opens in Coventry, UK (April 2022)
- EASA Publishes Design Specifications for Vertiports (March 2022)
- Several EU Airports Partner On Vertiport Development (October 2021)