Robust, Significant, and Noteworthy Needs and Opportunities

The workshop participants utilized the iterative round-robin process described in Chapter 1 to distinguish between future needs and opportunities that were "robust," "significant," or "noteworthy." Table 3-1 illustrates this distinction for each type of need or opportunity identified by each world team and discussed in Chapter 2. Robust needs and opportunities were those cross-cutting items that fit within the environment of every future scenario. Significant needs and opportunities were critically important to three or four of the scenarios. Noteworthy needs and opportunities were items that were novel and, although important, applied to only one or two scenarios.

TABLE 3-1 Robust, Significant, and Noteworthy Needs and Opportunities




Common to all scenarios

Less common but vital to some scenarios

Specialized and unique

Air Traffic Management satellite-based, autonomous, tailored

Access to Space small payloads, low cost, on demand

Short-to-Medium Range Aircraft VSTOL, commuter, infrastructure independent, military special operations

Airport Infrastructure constrained, austere, tailored

Supersonic Aircraft long range, large, and low capacity

Stealth Aircraft evade terrorist threats, quiet over populated areas

Safety/ Survivability significant accident reduction, survive natural and man-made threats

Subsonic Aircraft large, small, long and short range

General Aviation increased activity, part of a customer-tailored air transportation system

Manufacturing agile, virtual, validation, certification

Air Cargo large, low-cost, specialized and reconfigurable aircraft

Tailored and Smart Materials reduced fuel consumption and enhanced safety


Uninhabited Air Vehicles weapons, surveillance, intelligence

Microelectro Mechanical Systems reduced fuel consumption and vehicle size


Environment noise, emissions, hydrogen fuels

Sonic Boom Mitigation enable supersonic flight over populated areas


Security Systems airport, aircraft, terrorist threat



Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing (VSTOL) Aircraft short, medium, and long range, stealth, infrastructure independent, military special operations



Skilled Training and Education distributed and tailored training


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement