CTD for September 16, 2006
This week’s podcast discusses microjets while next to the Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie, MN.
In December of 2004 I wrote a post entitled Get Ready for a Revolution in Air Travel. No one seemingly cared except those handful of folks that knew microjets were coming and that they held the promise of being disruptors of the airline industry.
A March 2006 article (PDF) in The New York Times provided the best overview I’ve seen yet:
Thousands of tiny passenger jets will soon begin flying, the Federal Aviation Administration said on Tuesday, which will open up travel opportunities at small airports, and perhaps eventually gum up the air traffic control system.
In its annual forecast, the F.A.A. projected sharply higher levels of flights because of a new class of small planes, called very light jets, or microjets, with only 6 to 8 seats. The planes can fly about two-thirds as fast as an airliner, and at higher altitudes, but land easily on short runways found at small airports that have no scheduled airline service.
It went on:
The F.A.A. expects about 100 or so of the jets to begin flying this year. Proponents of the microjets, which have a range of 1,000 miles or more, said they would spawn a new generation of air taxis and charters that would carry travelers to small airports, usually within 20 minutes of their homes or destinations, at coach fare prices.
“We’re on the cusp of a new business model,” Nan Shellabarger, director of the Office of Aviation Policy and Plans at the F.A.A., told several hundred aviation executives on Tuesday at the agency’s Annual Forecast Conference at the Washington Convention Center. The agency made the prediction after reviewing manufacturers’ orders for the microjets.
The revolution in air travel is at hand…