NATA: Few Regulations Apply To UAM Ground Ops

 - June 12, 2019, 11:52 AM

There are few regulations currently in place governing vertiport ground operations as they apply to any future urban air mobility (UAM) Part 135 on-demand air charter activity, according to a new National Air Transportation Association (NATA) whitepaper titled “Urban Air Mobility: Considerations for Vertiport Operation.”

“This whitepaper illuminates the lack of specific regulations in areas that will give UAM companies a lot of opportunities to define how their operations can look in the future, including ground handling, and passenger facilitation. Those unregulated areas also happen to be many of NATA members’ key lines of business and expertise. NATA stands ready to work with the UAM industry to share our experiences and methods, as well as develop synergistic connections between UAM companies and our members,” noted NATA president Gary Dempsey.

According to the whitepaper, there are no federal regulations governing aircraft ground handling or passenger facilitation. However, NATA noted that the industry does subscribe to various “best practices” in these areas, including those set by the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH).

“FBOs have developed proven methods to safely and efficiently move passengers to and from aircraft in very active ramp environments,” it added. “NATA member FBOs are uniquely positioned to collaborate with UAM stakeholders in developing effective passenger facilitation procedures that will ensure a balance of safe and efficient operations while maximizing passenger throughput.”

NATA is chairing a new working group under the IS-BAH Standards Review Board to explore UAM issues in ground handling.