On The Radar
ASTM International has published what appears to be the first specific standards for the design of civil vertiports and vertistops. The new F3423 standard is based on five years of work by the U.S.-based group’s F38 unmanned aircraft systems committee, but it is intended to provide guidance for ground infrastructure to be used with regard to either crewed or uncrewed vehicles, including new eVTOL models.
“The challenge in developing this standard was in balancing safety with practicality,” commented ASTM International member and working group volunteer Rex Alexander. “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.”
For the purposes of the F3423 document, ASTM International defines a vertiport as “a section of land, water, or structure intended for either manned or unmanned vertical takeoff and landing of aircraft, along with the associated buildings and facilities.” A vertistop is a less sophisticated setup intended to simply pick up and drop off passengers, but with no aircraft refueling, maintenance, or storage facilities available.
According to ASTM International fellow Jonathan Daniels, the F3423 standard provides scalable specifications to guide state and city authorities in the development process for the extensive infrastructure required for new advanced air mobility services. The group intends to build on the publication by using its findings as the foundation for new working groups considering issues such as automated vertiports and data services.