2023 USHST Infrastructure Summit

  • Home
  • /
  • 2023 USHST Infrastructure Summit

USHST 9th Annual Infrastructure Summit

Date: February 7-8, 2023
Site: HAI / Alexandria, Virginia
Participants: 60+ (In Person & Virtual)



1noneHeliport & Vertiport Standards UpdateRobert Bassey
20101Vertical Flight Infrastructure Pilot EducationRex Alexander
30102Vertiport Marking, Research Study ReviewCliff Johnson
40103Droneports Standards & Integration into the NASJonathan Daniels
Praxis Aerospace
50104Heliport Accident Whitepaper ReviewRex Alexander
6proprietaryLow Altitude IFR Challenges & StrategiesChris Baur
Hughes Aerospace Corp.
70105Tactical Approaches to 5G EffectsTony Rios
Freeflight & Flt Data Sys
80106FAA Helicopter Modernization Team UpdateNolan Crawford
90107Maine Low Altitude IFR Infrastructure Project UpdateTom Judge
LifeFlight of Maine
100201The Icing ConundrumMatt Johnson
Metro Aviation
110202Weather Data Performance Standards for Aviation OperationsDon Berchoff
TruWeather Solutions
120203Aviation Weather Center GFA-LA Beta Site ReviewAustin Cross
130204Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC) UpdateGary Pokodner
140205FAA Weather Camera Program UpdateCohl Pope
150206Harmonization of Terminology & Guidance Across Various Lines of Businesses and AgenciesCliff Johnson
16noneLegislative Affairs and FAA Reauthorization Act Updates / Fall Unified AgendaTom Judge
LifeFlight of Maine

*Presentations posted to the USHST Infrastructure website at: https://ushst.org/infrastructure



  • Future need to form a heliport/vertiport Operators Group.
  • Recommendation for incorporating a Safety Management Systems (SMS) for Heliports and Vertiports.
  • Market potential for a heliport and vertiport accreditation program similar to the IS-BAO program operated by IBAC. Will need to follow up with insurance companies.
  • There is a continued need to improve vertical flight Infrastructure Data Integrity. This centers around the validation of Data Accuracy, Data Accountability and Data Recency.
  • Need for the FAA to develop language and standards that speaks to fixed high volume infrastructure dedicated to drone and UAS operations:
    1. What is the official definition of a Droneport?
    2. Is a Droneport an Airport per CFR Part-157?
    3. What regulations & standards govern Droneports?
    4. What does Droneport airspace look like?
    5. Who has oversight of a Droneport?
    6. How are Droneports depicted on Charts?
    7. How are Droneports accounted for in the NAS?
    8. What FAA form do you submit for a Droneport?
    9. Is there an inspection required for a Droneport?
  • According to FAA Airports there may be an opportunity in the future to incorporate the heliport advisory circular with the vertiport advisory circular but unsure as to when that may be.


  • Need for continued validation efforts of weather camera data and information to further validate that is a viable decision-making tool for pilots and operators.
  • Need for the development of acceptable Localiser Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) approach minima to be used for alternates.
  • Push for the inclusion of lower cost weather systems which are capable of meeting weather reporting criteria, minimum and standards set forth by the FAA.
  • Need for additional research to be conducted for the purpose of validating new lower cost weather systems that can meet FAA certification standards.
  • Work to further the development and adoption of Visual Weather Observation Systems (VWOS) stations throughout the United States to augment the usable weather data in low altitude flight environment for enhanced safety.
  • Need for diversification and expansion of weather information connectivity for weather dissemination in the cockpit and the adoption of new viable data streams.


  • Propose a review of Title-14 CFR Part-1 terms and definitions for the purpose of harmonization with other regulations and standards.
  • Evaluate the terms eVTOL vs. Rotorcraft Vs. Powered Lift and their definitions as they are used by each line of business within the FAA.
  • Consider introducing an all-encompassing term that would include all types of vertical flight infrastructure versus using separate terms such as heliport, vertiport, droneport, STOLport…
  • Investigate potential infrastructure funding avenues besides Airport Improvement Planning (AIP) grant money. Look at Homeland Security, FEMA, DOT, State, etc.
  • Evaluate the impact vertical flight infrastructure terminology may have on Funding (AIP vs. HIP).
  • Review FAA Order 8000.71, Aircraft Make, Model, and Series Taxonomy for existing taxonomy of accepted terms.
  • Evaluate whether insurance can and should be used as a driver for harmonization of terminology, regulations, and standards? This would include encouraging a higher level of data integrity for vertical flight infrastructure.
  • What other data sources can and should be leveraged to improve vertical flight infrastructure data integrity, e.g., Department of Health, State DOT Aeronautics Division, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Healthcare Accreditation Agencies…
  • Allow federal AIP money or Covid Relief money to be provided to individual states through discretionary funds for the purposes of hiring personnel or interns with the sole purpose of conducting a full review of each state’s vertical flight infrastructure data for the purposes of updating and correcting the FAA Airport Data and Informational Portal (ADIP) database? Provide personnel with a training program.
  • Add subcategories to the classification of Medical-Use infrastructure to include but not limited to:
    • Hospital
    • Fire Station
    • National Park
    • State Park
    • EMS Base
    • Law Enforcement Department
    • HAA Base
  • Consider weather information clarification:
    • Approved Weather Sources vs. Advisory Weather Products
  • Develop performance-based weather standards and determine whether or not there is a need for wavers and if so, what those wavers may look like.
  • Evaluate the difference between operational relevancy vs scientific relevancy for weather sources and how this impacts weather validity and weather reporting for aviation.
  • Review regulations for harmonization in Title 14 CFR Parts:
    • Parts: 77 vs 139 vs 157
    • Parts 91 vs. 135 vs. 121
  • Evaluate the current classification for infrastructure ‘Use’ case and determine if the two current classifications, i.e., ‘Public’ and ‘Private’ are adequate or should the FAA consider adopting terms currently used by many State authorities such as ‘Commercial’, ‘Personal’, and ‘Restricted’.

~Nothing Else Follows~

Primary Points of Contact:

Thomas Judge
Exec Director, LifeFlight of Maine
Email: tjudge@ahs.emh.org
Phone: (207) 973-6706

Rex J. Alexander
President, Five-Alpha LLC
Email: rex@five-alpha.com
Phone: (260) 494-0891

Rachel Tester
President & CEO, IFR Global, Inc.
Secretary USHST/IWG
Email: rightseatflyer@aim.com
Phone: (423) 902-4214

Receive the USHST Newsletter