A vertiport is an area designed to support the takeoff and landing operations of electric vertical landing and takeoff (eVTOL) vehicles. Like heliports, vertiports are also equipped with visual instruments, such as identification beacons and wind cones, that provide eVTOL pilots with crucial information they need to conduct safe flight operations. In addition, these vertiport visual equipment must adhere to the standards specified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
In this article, we’ll look at the specifications required by the FAA for a vertiport identification beacon and wind cone.
- Identification Beacon
As specified on FAA Engineering Brief No. 105, vertiports must install an identification beacon for night operations. An identification beacon is an aviation equipment that allows pilots to pinpoint the location of an airport, a heliport, or a vertiport through flashes of light with specific color combinations. Here are some of the specifications set by the FAA for a vertiport identification beacon:
A vertiport identification beacon must be able to withstand extreme environmental conditions. The following are the minimum requirements of a standard vertiport beacon for each environmental condition identified:
|Temperature||Class 1 (without auxiliary heater)||Class 2 (with auxiliary heater)|
|-22 °F to 131 °F
(-30 °C to +55 °C)
|-67 °F to +131 °F
(-55 °C to +55 °C)
|Wind||Wind velocity up to 100 miles per hour (161 kilometers per hour)|
|Rain and Snow||Exposure to wind driven rain and snow|
|Ice||An accumulation of a 0.5-inch (12.7 millimeters) coating of ice|
|Solar Radiation||Non-metallic and non-glass; exterior parts must not degrade when exposed to solar radiation|
The light flashes of a vertiport beacon must appear at any point throughout 360° in azimuth. Furthermore, the flashes must have the following photometric requirements:
|Flash Rate||30 to 45 flashes per minute (fpm)|
|Flash Duration||75 to 300 milliseconds (ms)|
|Signal Format||Alternate white, green, and yellow|
Vertiports must meet the minimum FAA identification beacon design standards to ensure efficient operations and prevent sudden malfunctions that may cause accidents. These design requirements include:
|Lamps||A minimum rated life of at least 4,000 hours at rated voltage|
|Equipment Mounting||Must be designed for mounting on a flat, horizontal surface|
|Corrosion Protection||Metallic surfaces must be protected from corrosion|
A vertiport wind cone displays vital information on wind direction and wind speed. It has a cone-like structure with two apertures at both ends, moving along with the wind blow. The FAA specifications of a vertiport wind cone are as follows:
Like identification beacons, vertiport wind cones must also be able to operate within the environmental conditions specified by FAA. The requirements for each environmental condition are as follows:
|Temperature||Any ambient temperature between -67 °F (-55 °C) and 131 °F (+55 °C)|
|Wind||Wind speed up to 75 knots (140 km/hr or 86 mph)|
|Rain||Indoors or sheltered||Outdoors|
|NEMA rating of 3R if indoors or sheltered (and
elevated above the site runoff or flood line)
|NEMA rating of 4 including approved gasket, seals and breather
drain to prevent water entry
The vertiport wind cone must resemble the shape of a truncated cone when it is filled with air. All points that are prone to abrasions by flexing against metal framework must be reinforced. The design must allow the removal and replacement without using special tools and stitching. It must be constructed to allow water drainage out of the area of the basket assembly.
The minimum length and throat end diameter of the vertiport wind cone must have the following sizes:
|Size 1||Eight feet (2.5 m) in length and 18 inches (0.45 m) in throat diameter|
|Size 2||Twelve feet (3.75 m) in length and 36 inches (0.9 m) in throat diameter|
A vertiport wind cone fabric must be made up of either cotton, a synthetic material, or a blend of the two. The fabric must also be water repellent. The color of the wind cone fabric can be either white, yellow, or orange as specified by the client. Any logos or lettering are not allowed on the wind cone.
Vertiport Lighting Equipment Here At Hali-Brite
We at Hali-Brite can provide you with quality vertiport lighting equipment, such as the Vertiport LED Beacon L-801(H)L and Wind Cone L-806, that strictly follows the FAA standard requirements. We also offer installation services for your vertiport visual aids. Contact us here now!