General aviation is an extraordinary industry with a terrible appellation. How is it that the industry spawned by the heroic efforts of the Wright brothers, the industry that gave birth to the jewel of the U.S.'s industrial might–the aerospace industry–and the industry that includes the magic of teaching anyone interested how to fly, goes by the generic-sounding term "general aviation?"
Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiments
NASA’s small aircraft transportation system (SATS), a five-year, $69 million project aimed at maximizing the benefits of light aircraft and small airports, announced at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh that it selected four teams to participate in its initial research and development phase. The Maryland team will focus on evolving existing flight procedures, integrating new technology and studying human factors.
NGAMC is the new aviation acronym on the block, according to air-taxi operators DayJet, Jet-Alliance, Linear Air and SATSAir, very light jet OEM Eclipse Aviation, their suppliers and the communities the air-taxi operators serve.
Per-seat, on-demand carrier DayJet on September 5 received its Part 135 air charter certificate to operate its fleet of 12 Eclipse 500 very light jets. The company began a gradual rollout of its service two weeks later from “DayPorts” in the Florida cities of Boca Raton, Gainesville, Lakeland, Pensacola and Tallahassee. DayJet currently has 190 employees, approximately 30 of whom are pilots, according to CFO John Staten.
Just as very light jets are on the verge of joining the new generation of general aviation aircraft produced by Cirrus and Lancair, NASA has begun field demonstrations of its Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) in preparation for a more comprehensive proof-of-concept drill next summer at the Danville Regional Airport, Va.
People tend to think of NASA’s Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) project as a far-fetched plan to put an airplane in every garage and turn the skies of America into tomorrow’s commuter byways. The truth is the SATS program will bring GPS-based “highway in the sky” instrument approaches with lower minimums to hundreds of smaller airports, many of them used today by business aircraft.