The Virginia SATSLab, Inc., (VSATS), along with the Air Taxi Association (ATXA), formally announced a partnership that will bring next-generation air taxi focus to Virginia. Backed by the emerging group of 10 leading next-generation air taxi companies in the United States, this partnership will begin with a target of 12 "focus" airports across Virginia and continue to expand throughout the region. VSATS is a public-private non-profit corporation that has the backing of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
In the partnership, the Air Taxi Association's standards-based, inclusive, and platform independent Connect-IT air taxi reservations system will be demonstrated at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) 60thAnnual Meeting and Convention held in Atlanta from September 25-27 in the Georgia World Congress Center in Hall C, Booth 1312.
Virginia is deeply committed to supporting next-generation aviation technologies and on-demand, point-to-point air travel. Research conducted by VSATS partners at Virginia Tech links very light jet (VLJ) business travel and industry growth to an increased rate of local economic development. Based in part on research conducted by PMI Media with the Air Taxi Association, communities across the United States are investing in programs that capitalize on this growth strategy.
"By venturing into this partnership with the Air Taxi Association, VSATS continues to advance the vision of on-demand small aircraft travel on a widely distributed basis in the Commonwealth," said Keith McCrea, Executive Director of VSATS. "This evolving partnership with the Air Taxi Association will provide communities in Virginia with a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the benefits enabled by a new travel choice, allowing access and convenience not previously available. Research clearly indicates that this new travel choice equates to an increase in the opportunities for trade and economic development, especially for our rural destinations."
With this partnership, 12 target community airports will be able to utilize the Air Taxi Association's standards-based and platform independent Connect-IT system designed to allow customers to find air taxi operators quickly and easily by typing in the destination address. The system will then show the nearest airports, flight distance, flight time by aircraft type, price estimates and time savings compared to commercial airports.
"We are proud to step forward as one of the first communities in Virginia to embrace the next generation air taxi concept," said Culpeper County Administrator Frank Bossio. "The Air Taxi Association provides such an incredible value to communities like Culpeper whose citizens and communities deserve direct, on-demand flight access at reasonable prices for business travelers. By incorporating the Air Taxi Association reservation system, passengers will have a much easier time finding the flights they want at the prices they need."
"Hampton Roads Executive Airport has seen robust growth of next-generation aircraft traffic firsthand," added Steven I. Fox, Principal of the Hampton Roads Executive Airport and Mid-Atlantic Director of Business Development for the Air Taxi Association. "Hampton Roads is adding air taxi specific facilities to facilitate the growth. In working with the Air Taxi Association, I became such a believer that I wanted to actively work for the association."
Two of the leading next-generation air taxi companies, SATSair and Linear Air, have already spread their wings across Virginia. SATSair is the number one air taxi provider in Virginia and is continuing expansion throughout the state to provide business and personal travelers on-demand flights. Linear Air, with a base in Manassas, has also taken steps to expand their service throughout Virginia, and has added the Eclipse 500 to its expanding air taxi fleet.