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SATS Overview

The origins of the transportation transformation

The Small Aircraft Transportation System or SATS program was a NASA funded, FAA endorsed, and industry-collaborated research initiative in response to the demand for expanded intermodal transportation projected for the next 25 years. NASA’s SATS Project was a limited, proof-of-concept demonstration of specific nearer-term technologies enhancing the use of General Aviation aircraft and airports. The proof-of-concept research and technology development phase concluded in the spring of 2005 with the SATS operational capability demonstrated in four major operating capability areas: higher volume operations in non-radar airspace and at non-towered airports; lower landing minima at minimally equipped landing facilities; increased single-pilot crew safety and mission reliability; and en-route procedures and systems for integrated fleet operations. The SATS Project concluded the demonstration in Danville, Va., but the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is just beginning!