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CHAPTER 1 Introduction 1.1 Background The newest generation of general aviation (GA) aircraft ranges from piston aircraft with glass cockpits and/or made with composite materials to light jets. Within this range of new aircraft, Very Light Jets (VLJs) have generally garnered the most media attention. The advent of VLJs, generally defined as advanced technology jet airplanes weighing less than 10,000 pounds that seat three to six passengers, has been accompanied by very optimistic forecasts and interest in using these Eclipse 500 VLJ cockpit aircraft in business models that offer new transportation options to travelers. Source: The new generation of GA aircraft generally refers to advanced technologies in three areas-- avionics, airframes, and engines. Virtually all include advanced avionics highlighted by glass cock- pits with primary electronic instrument displays rather than mechanical gauges. VLJs are a subset of these aircraft that also make use of newly designed very small jet engines. Some incorporate con- ventional aluminum airframes, while others use carbon fiber and advanced composite materials. This guidebook brackets the VLJ segment by including guidance and information that will be relevant for new generation piston aircraft such as the Cirrus SR-22 and the Cessna/Columbia 400, turboprop models such as the Pilatus PC-12 NG and Eads Socata TBM 850, and light jets that weigh Cirrus Vision VLJ composite airframe up to 12,500 pounds such as the Cessna CJ2+ and the Hawker Beechcraft Premier 1A. Source: VLJs are noted for the ability to take off and land on runways of 2,500 feet to 3,500 feet, varying with the model. The short runway capability could expand opportunities for additional GA air- ports to accommodate small jet aircraft, but could also result in specific jet-related issues such as noise and jet fuel availability. This guidebook is designed to help airport operators in serving this new generation of GA aircraft. The overall guidebook is designed to be especially useful to airport operators having limited GA jet operations. The guidance addressing service amenities is designed to help those operators looking to expand existing business aviation opportunities. Williams FJ44 engine Source: (Trey Thomas) Notes on Terminology Airport operator is used throughout this publication because this guidebook focuses primarily on assisting those responsible for the actual operation of airports. Operators may or may not be the same entities as airport sponsors and/or the actual owners, who may have actual decisionmaking authority when it comes to addressing issues related to airport improvements, investments, or other actions identified in this guidebook. New generation aircraft and new generation GA aircraft are used throughout this guidebook to refer to the small GA aircraft that are the main focus of the report. 1