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Elvia Thompson
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1696)

Kathy Barnstorff
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
(Phone: 757/864-9886)

Ken Hespe
National Consortium for Aviation Mobility, Hampton, Va.
(Phone: 757/864-1086)

Aug. 2, 2004
RELEASE : 04-254
National Consortium Picks Aviation Technology Test Date
A public-private partnership working to improve aviation and make air travel accessible to more people has chosen next June for a demonstration of new aviation capabilities, benefits and opportunities that are part of an improved Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS).

NASA Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research, Dr. J. Victor Lebacqz, announced at the annual Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture fly-in in Oshkosh, Wisc., that NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Consortium for Aviation Mobility (NCAM) are planning a proof of concept demonstration June 5-7, 2005.

"Our SATS team will demonstrate new technologies and procedures developed by the Small Aircraft Transportation System project in flight, in simulation, with displays and through lectures and seminars at the Danville Regional Airport in Danville, Va.," Lebacqz said.

During the three-day event, organizers also plan to offer participants a look at the potential impacts that additional small aircraft traffic could have on the nation's skies and the business prospects that could be available for air taxis and other services interested in capitalizing on a new air transportation system that would complement existing major airports.

SATS researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and at NCAM SATSLabs across the country are developing integrated airborne systems, cockpit displays and operating procedures for a new generation of aircraft designed to carry four to ten passengers. These technologies could help planes safely fly into underused rural and suburban airports, including many airfields that do not have radar or air traffic control towers. Nearly all of the people in the United States live within a 30-minute drive of one of these airports.

SATS research is focusing on four operating capabilities that may help permit people and goods to travel faster and farther, anywhere and any time. These technologies would allow:

  • higher volume operations at airports that do not have control towers or terminal radar
  • pilots to land safely in low visibility conditions at minimally equipped airports
  • increased single-pilot performance
  • SATS aircraft to integrate seamlessly into the complex national airspace
The technologies, which have been developed to allow these capabilities, will be demonstrated at Danville, either in flight or in simulation or a combination of the two.

The city of Danville and the Virginia Department of Aviation are hosting the demonstration, but the event is possible through the combined efforts of NASA, the FAA and NCAM, including its SATSLabs and their member companies. NASA and the SATSLabs, including the Maryland and Mid-Atlantic SATSLab; the North Carolina and Upper Great Plains SATSLab; the South East SATSLab; the Virginia SATSLab; the Michigan SATSLab; and the Indiana SATSLab, are responsible for developing the technologies that will form the centerpiece of the Danville demonstration.

For more information about the Small Aircraft Transportation System on the Internet, please visit:

For more information about the National Consortium for Aviation Mobility on the Internet, please visit:


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