The FAA has issued conditional approval for the country’s first vertiport at Allen C. Perkinson Blackstone Army Airfield (KBKT), in Blackstone, Virginia. The public-use vertiport is the cornerstone of a research project that will look into key aspects of integration of uncrewed aircraft into the National Airspace System. The project, sponsored by the Virginia government, will be carried out by NAVOS Air, a Virginia-based air navigation services company.
“The vertiport will be used as part of research on an end-to-end concept of operations NAVOS Air developed based on modifying and designing terminal instrument procedures and enroute infrastructure specifically for uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) and AAM use cases, with vertiports serving as the anchors to that system,” the news release said. The project is aimed at speeding up the integration of uncrewed aircraft by using existing infrastructure. “Designating vertiports is part of the beginning of real progress towards enabling AAM,” said NAVOS technical director Matt Burton.