Journal of Air Law and Commerce


While aviation has been used in transportation for decades, the use of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft for large-scale, low-cost, green, sustainable, and integrated mobility in populated areas is a new phenomenon. Despite the importance of ground infrastructure for embarkation and disembarkation of passengers, cargo, and mail, questions remain on how these “vertiports” are or should be regulated and how they will relate to existing regulated ground infrastructure such as aerodromes, airports, and heliports. Therefore, several questions arise: what is a vertiport; how do vertiports relate to other aviation infrastructure; what are the legal implications of having different terms; what laws apply to vertiports? This Article seeks to address these questions from a European Union (EU) perspective by looking at the rise of civil VTOL aircraft and the need for vertiports. Following this, the Article analyzes the current and proposed legal landscapes in the EU. This analysis shows how vertiports are currently regulated and highlights the steps that still need to be taken. An examination of the different terms that exist and their definitions is also undertaken. This highlights the similarities and differences that exist between the different terms, thus allowing the relevant laws to be appropriately identified and their scope understood. Finally, the Article looks at some of the legal consequences of introducing the term “vertiport” by focusing on specific EU aviation-based regulations. Thus, this shows the real-life implications of the questions posed.



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