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 nation’s 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
economic opportunity.

Enabling the SATS vision requirtituransportation 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 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 consortium.

NCAM will lead a consortium of private businesses and public
entities spanning much of the nation. One of NCAM’s early
tasks will be to coordinate the technology development
efforts of the members of the consortium with NASA’s
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 transportation aircraft.

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 industry.

A listing of initial NCAM membership is available at: