The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched a new consultation to establish policies for vertiport designs at existing aerodromes.

This move brings the nation a step closer to offering electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) services.

Depictions of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft

With the impending launch of Advanced Air Mobility, vertiports will act as sites for the arrival, departure and surface movement of eVTOL aircraft.

As the UK already has hundreds of airfields dotted across the country, it expects to offer a comprehensive network to connect communities by air.

The CAA’s new consultation thus aims to ensure that future operations at aerodromes support eVTOL movements in a safe, efficient, equitable and secure manner. Its proposals are based on existing policies to ensure the efficiency and safety of the related new infrastructure.

Sophie O’Sullivan, Head of Future Safety and Innovation, said:

We are a committed partner to the Government’s Future of Flight Programme and enabling the introduction of innovative infrastructure is one of our key strategic objectives. This consultation is a big step towards enabling this new and innovative way of travelling to become part of our everyday life.

UK aerodromes are vital in unlocking the future of aviation operations. By leveraging existing regulation, we’re enabling future operators and aerodromes to develop their understanding and operational expertise, at the same time as growing our collective knowledge of the technology and operational scenarios to support this infrastructure.

This launch comes after thorough engagement with industry representatives, including vertiport developers, existing aerodromes and potential operators.

The proposals acknowledge that existing aerodromes are already equipped for aviation activities and are best placed to introduce the first vertiports.

By using existing infrastructure, the CAA aims to provide eVTOL aircraft with a place to operate to and from while the industry continues to become more familiar with these new vehicles.

The factors that are being consulted on to consider all safety requirements include:

  • The design of operating areas
  • Obstacle limitation surfaces and visual aids
  • Rescue and firefighting services

The consultation closes on 15 March 2024. Until then, responses can be submitted on the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s dedicated consultation webpage.


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