Today, there are only 40 or so major airports in the United States, and as many as 100 million people might go through just one of them in a year. With so many people choosing to fly, many airports are operating above their capacity and are overwhelmed, causing delays and cancellations.
It is also very expensive to run major airports and major airlines. To help ensure a profit, airlines schedule flights so as to fill as many seats as possible. This limits the options for travelers, forcing them to conform to these schedules and destinations. As a result, many travelers choose to drive instead of fly, overloading yet another transportation system: highways.
The basic concept behind the Small Aircraft Transportation System is simple. Instead of relying on a few big airports, SATS will utilize the more than 5,000 small, local airports situated throughout the United States. SATS will also develop safer, more affordable small aircraft that are sufficiently sophisticated to operate in the same airspace as major airliners. These smaller airports and aircraft will be much less expensive to run than their super-sized big brothers, so SATS airlines will have the financial freedom to offer clients a greater variety of routes and schedules.
Because there are so many small airports spread throughout the country, flyers will also be able to get to one that is much closer to their homes, businesses and destinations, cutting down on travel time.