Press Release

National Consortium Picks Aviation Technology Test Date

By SpaceRef Editor
August 2, 2004
Filed under , ,

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

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

  • 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:

SpaceRef staff editor.