The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation has announced a hearing on new aircraft in the national airspace system.
Ted StevensSenatorThe Chairman of the Subcommittee will be here shortly to take over this hearing. He is at the Armed Services Committee meeting, which is an important meeting, and as soon as he can get away he will come. The issues we are here to discuss are critical to the future of our national aviation and aerospace system. The very light jets, which I have called the mosquito fleet without trying to be derogatory, will soon be part of daily air travel in our nation. Just as regional jets have vastly increased the number of planes in our national airspace, this new fleet has the potential to add even greater numbers to it.The first wave of this fleet is expected to hit the market next year. And that increase can revolutionize air traffic business. At around $2 million each, on an estimated basis, these new mini jets will be within reach to thousands of individuals and companies and have the potential to create a booming air taxi industry.Unmanned aircraft are also poised to enter national airspace and have been used by the military since World War II. In those days, as I have reminded the Committee recently, pilots took those aircrafts off and then parachuted out, then the plans were flown remotely to targets. That is not the situation now of course. Unmanned aircraft play an intricate part in fighting the wars we are involved in now, particularly the war against the terrorists. And UAVs have the potential of being a key line of defense for our first responders. We have asked that they be tested in Alaska to determine whether or not they can play a significant role in maritime boundary enforcement and protecting our fisheries.
Witness Panel 1
Mr. Michael CirilloVice President for System Operations ServicesFederal Aviation Administration
Mr. Nicholas SabatiniAssociate Administrator for Aviation SafetyFederal Aviation Administration
Witness Panel 2
Mr. Vern RaburnPresident and Chief Executive OfficerEclipse Aviation Corporation
Mr. Edward IacobucciPresident and Chief Executive OfficerDayJet Corporation
Mr. Jack PeltonChief Executive OfficerCessna Aircraft Company
Mr. Matt AnderssonSenior Aviation ConsultantCRA International