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On-Demand Air Travel

ICourtesy of CNET, I found a great video on the subject of on-demand air travel. In this video, Esther Dyson introduces the general concept of the air taxi, and then interviews two of the folks working to bring this concept to life.

First, she interviews Robert Crandall of Pogo. Then she talks to Vern Raburn, one-time Microsoft big-wig and now CEO of Eclipse Aviation. Vern compares the current commercial airliners to a bus service, carrying large loads of passengers on a relatively small number of routes, with no flexibility vis-a-vis schedule or destination. The air taxi is, as Vern says, “about choice.”

At the heart of these efforts lies a desire to bypass the crowded and inefficient major airports, made possible by advances in composite technology, advanced software for aircraft design and route planning, and a growing demand for a more flexible alternative to the existing travel system.

Having had the opportunity to travel by private jet a few times in my life, I can really appreciate the flexibility and time-efficiency that this new system will allow.