ABOVE: CAP2538 explores the challenges of operating VTOL aircraft from aerodromes and custom-built ‘vertiports’

The CAA has published a new document – entitled ‘Considerations for Aerodromes and Vertiports planning to operate Vertical Take-off and Landing Aircraft (VTOL)’ – as part its Advanced Air Mobility Challenge.

As part of this Challenge, the publication (CAP2538) states that the CAA is in the process of “determining the required technical and operational requirements” to enable current licensed airports to accommodate VTOL aircraft, as well as enabling the creation of bespoke ‘vertiports’.

The document is “intended to serve as interim guidance to various stakeholders on what aspects they should begin to consider, and other organisations they should initiate discussions with, to operate VTOL aircraft from existing aerodromes or bespoke vertiport facilities”. Although not containing specific requirements for either infrastructure or operational requirements, the publication “will hopefully allow industry, government, landowners, aerodromes, and the CAA to law the groundwork in advance of the technical requirements being published in late 2024”.

The Advanced Air Mobility Challenge hopes to achieve the “safe introduction of passenger carrying electric powered vertical take-off and landing aircraft by developing an appropriate regulatory framework”; spanning issues such as aircraft certification, airspace integration, local authority engagement and public outreach.

“Vertiports should be designed to be operationally diverse,” notes CAP2538, detailing the consideration of passenger, cargo, flight training and other various use cases. “The importance of the vertiport’s infrastructure being aircraft agnostic should be considered to allow consumer flexibility and choice, multiple revenue streams and future proofing”, it adds.

Technical requirements for VTOL sites, informed by a “gap analysis”, industry feedback and other considerations, are expected to be published in late 2024.