Headquarters, Washington May 14, 2002
Keith Henry, Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
F. Sheehan, National Consortium for Aviation Mobility, Hampton, Va.
to NASA HQ Rel. 02-89)
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 nationís 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
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
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
NCAM will lead a consortium of private
businesses and public entities spanning much of the nation. One of NCAMís
early tasks will be to coordinate the technology development efforts of the
members of the consortium with NASAís research. Consortium membership
includes industry partners from the Advanced General Aviation Transportation
Experiment Alliance Association Inc.; three state/regional SATLABS
partnerships of Virginia, Maryland and Southeast (Fla. and Ga.), and other
state and local aviation authorities; airport operators; general aviation
manufacturers; transportation services suppliers; transportation research
institutions (including universities); pilot training institutions; and
suppliers of communication, navigation and surveillance systems for small
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
of initial NCAM membership is available at: