Advanced Air Mobility Infrastructure

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) is an umbrella term for aircraft that are likely highly automated and electric. These aircraft are often referred to as air taxis or electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. AAM aircraft could also be used to transport cargo and passengers, help with firefighting, and provide search and rescue operations. It also has t he potential to connect underserved and rural communities to other destinations or community services.

While initial AAM operations will leverage existing infrastructure like airports and heliports (with modifications), new facilities, such as vertiports and vertistops – specialized areas for vertical takeoff and landing – will also accommodate these growing operations.

Depiction of optional locations for vertiports and vertistops

Vertiport Design

The FAA’s Office of Airports (ARP), with the assistance of the FAA’s Airport Technology Research and Development Branch (ATRD) at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center, has developed and will continue to update design and safety standards for vertiports.

Vertiport design

  • Engineering Brief (EB) 105, Vertiport Design
    Recognizing that interim guidance was needed for early adopters, ARP developed this EB provides guidance on the design and construction of vertiports and vertistops, including modification of existing landing facilities, and the establishment of new sites. The EB is specific to eVTOL aircraft with a pilot onboard, operating in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC), and a maximum takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds.
  • Vertiport Design Advisory Circular (AC) – expected in 2025
    The FAA plans to release a performance based Vertiport Design Advisory Circular (AC) to address infrastructure to accommodate the variety of aircraft and operations that fall under the AAM umbrella.

Vertiport Construction

Existing FAA regulations on the development of new takeoff and landing facilities also apply to AAM infrastructure. These regulations ensure FAA has the information needed to evaluate the safety of a proposed takeoff and landing facility, its surrounding area, and any impacts to the existing National Airspace System.

Electric Charging Stations

Many AAM aircraft manufacturers are exploring electric batteries as an alternative fuel source, which will require access to charging infrastructure on or near an airport or vertiport. Facility owners and operators will need to carefully consider the siting and operations of charging stations as part of their overall site planning.

FAA Research on Electric Charging Stations

The following reports, produced by FAA’s ATRD Branch in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), provide results on studies of several aspects of electric charging stations:

Interim Recommendations

While standards and guidance are being developed, ARP recommends early engagement and coordination with a local Airports District Office (ADO) or Regional Office (RO) for planned projects at federally obligated airports.

Key planning considerations include airport layout plan updates and airspace reviews toward evaluating compatibility with existing or planned infrastructure.

Hydrogen Fuel Storage

The FAA has also seen growing interest in using hydrogen as an alternative fuel source. The FAA and NREL have begun researching hydrogen fuel storage at airports and will provide guidance to industry once the appropriate data has been collected and analyzed.

Airport AAM Contacts

Office Contacts 

Airport Emerging Entrants Division (AAS-200)

General Questions

Jonathan Torres, General Engineer/AAM Portfolio Lead

Keri Lyons, Manager

Airport Engineering Division (AAS-100)

Robert Bassey, Electrical Engineer/Vertiport Design Lead

Airport Regional Contacts

Central (IA, KS, MO, NE)
Eastern (DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, VA, WV)
Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, MN, ND, OH, SD, WI)
New England (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT)
Northwest Mountain (CO, ID, MT, OR, UT, WA, WY)
Southern (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, PR, SC, TN, VI)
Southwest (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX)
Western-Pacific (AZ, CA, HI, NV, GU, AS, MH)

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: Thursday, March 21, 2024