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Michael Braukus
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1979)

Keith Henry
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
(Phone: 757/864-6120) or

John F. Sheehan
National Consortium for Aviation Mobility, Hampton, Va.
(Phone: 757/766-7520)

For Release:   May 14, 2002

RELEASE: 02-23 (identical to NASA HQ Rel. 02-89)

NASA selects partner for aviation research

NASA has selected a partner for a joint venture to develop and demonstrate air mobility technologies for transportation using small aircraft and small airports.

The National Consortium for Aviation Mobility (NCAM), Hampton, Va., will lead a broad-based public/private consortium of more than 130 members, which is expected to grow. NCAM will work with NASA toward a mid-2005 proof-of-concept of new operational capabilities, geared toward technologically advanced small aircraft and small airports.

The proof-of-concept is a flight demonstration that will be the culmination of the NASA Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) research and technology program, led by NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

As envisioned, the SATS is an equitable, on-demand, point-to-point, widely distributed nationwide transportation system. It relies on advanced 4- to 10-passenger aircraft using new operating capabilities. Such a system promises improved safety, efficiency, reliability and affordability for small aircraft operating within the nation’s 5,400 public-use-landing facilities. This research will evaluate technologies and procedures that could significantly extend reliable air service to many communities. The impact of this research could be more equitable distribution of air-accessibility and economic opportunity.

Enabling the SATS vision requires transportation system innovations too risky and costly for any one entity to undertake; therefore, NASA is taking the first step on the path to the SATS vision – a proof-of-concept of the feasibility.

To implement the proof-of-concept, NASA has opted to initiate a public/private partnership that includes the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NCAM. NASA believes this type of public/private venture will bring together key transportation community stakeholders needed to guide the research and increase technology transfer and commercialization opportunities for all partners.

NASA and other federal agencies are expected to contribute up to $40 million over the next four years to support the joint sponsored-research agreement, a cost sharing partnership between the federal government and the consortium.

Langhorne Bond – a former FAA administrator with extensive experience in a broad range of public transportation fields – will serve as NCAM consortium president. John F. Sheehan will serve as NCAM executive director. Sheehan has more than 35 years of directly applicable experience in both the technical and business development aspects of the aerospace and defense industry.

A listing of initial NCAM membership is available at:

LARC Home Pagenews_and_events/inside_pages/2002/NCAM.pdf

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text-only version of this release