NASA, FAA and NCAM Prepare to Demonstrate Feasibility of On-Demand Air Travel System

SATS 2005 to Showcase Operating Capabilities and Technologies to Expand Use of National Airspace for Small Aircraft

HAMPTON, Va., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ — The National Consortium for Aviation Mobility (NCAM), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are combining forces to present SATS 2005: A Transformation in Air Travel at the Danville Regional Airport in Danville, Va., on June 5-7, 2005.

The proof-of-concept demonstration will showcase the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) project. The five-year, public-private partnership is developing operating capabilities and enabling technologies necessary to make safe, affordable, on-demand air travel available through the nation’s small public airports.

The SATS project is focused on four operating capabilities that may help permit people and goods to travel faster and farther, anywhere and any time. These capabilities include:

* Automated flight-path management systems that allow higher volume
operations at airports that don’t have control towers or terminal radar
* Guidance and display systems to allow pilots to land safely in low
visibility conditions at minimally equipped airports
* On-board graphics and data displays to improve single pilot performance
* Assessment of the effects of seamlessly integrating a large number of
SATS aircraft into the national airspace.

Opening with a dynamic fly-in at the Danville Regional Airport on Sunday, June 5, the high profile Danville event will demonstrate many of these technologies and is designed to attract aviation enthusiasts, business executives, congressional leaders, state and local economic development officials and members of key science and aviation agencies. Students will also be on site participating in a SATS educational experience that teaches through interactive displays.

The SATS vision is to enable small aircraft carrying from four to ten passengers to safely access more than 3,000 under-used rural and suburban airports, most of which don’t have radar or air traffic control towers. Nearly all of the people in the U.S. live within 30 minutes of one of these airports. This capability could revolutionize personal and business travel, reducing the necessity for extended automobile travel and reducing the strain on the nation’s major commercial airports.

For registration and/or exhibit information for SATS 2005, visit or telephone 757-864-8332.


The National Consortium for Aviation Mobility (NCAM) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to coordinate and integrate the technical works and products of its members, foster technology transfer and the standards needed for commercialization. NCAM’s partners include the Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiment (AGATE) Alliance Association, and SATS laboratory partners in Maryland (Mid-Atlantic), Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina (Upper Great Plains) and the Southeast. The organization is headquartered at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.


NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate is advancing NASA’s long tradition of aviation research and developing technologies to make planes and the airspace they fly in safer, quieter and more efficient. NASA aeronautics research is also contributing to NASA’s bold new course into the cosmos, a journey that will take humans back to the Moon, and eventually to Mars and beyond. The Vision for Space Exploration calls for human and robotic missions to achieve new exploration goals, starting with returning the Space Shuttle safely to flight, completing the International Space Station, and beginning missions into the solar system.


FAA’s mission is to provide a safe, secure, and efficient global aerospace system that contributes to national security and the promotion of US aerospace safety. As the leading authority in the international aerospace community, FAA is responsive to the dynamic nature of customer needs, economic conditions, and environmental concerns.

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