transportation, is provided in Chapter 2. This information is helpful in understanding the terminology and issues covered in the report. The key capacity, service, safety, and environmental challenges facing the aviation sector today and for some time into the future are examined in Chapter 3. An appreciation of these challenges is important, because the aim of SATS is to help meet them. Although a close review of these two chapters is not essential for readers with a general understanding of the U.S. aviation and air transportation sectors, many of the statistics and findings that are cited in the later analytical sections of the report appear there.

The study committee’s analyses of the SATS concept’s plausibility and desirability are described in Chapter 4. Consideration is given to the probability of NASA’s SATS vision emerging in light of what is known about (a) the influence of safety assurance requirements on aviation technology development, affordability, and deployment; (b) the physical condition and operational characteristics of the nation’s airport and airspace infrastructure; and (c) intercity travel demand and the factors that influence it. The desirability of the system and potential effects on overall transportation system capacity, accessibility, safety, and environmental compatibility are also examined.

The committee’s responses to the questions and its recommendations, which are based on the findings of these analyses, are given in Chapter 5.



SAIC Scientific Applications International Corporation

SAIC. 2001. Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) Operational Concept Update. Version 4. AGATE Document NCA1-183, WBS 7. March.

TR News. 1996. The Revolution in Passenger Aviation. No. 182, Jan.–Feb., p. 25.

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