The short-haul transportation problem, worldwide, is characterized by congestion both on the ground and in the air. Solutions in the form of ground transportation are expensive in terms of land utilization, high development costs, their adverse effect on the environment and ecology, and are 20-30 years in the future. STOL offers a solution, but the high cost of land for downtown STOLports has precluded implementation.
The STOL amphibian provides a solution which uses existing waterways situated downtown in every major city. It will relieve ground congestion and alleviate saturated airports. Studies show that such a system meets the ten basic requirements established by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and that it contributes significantly to a reduction in the energy consumed in travel to and from the airports.
In terms of facilities, land requirements for the terminal are just 16% of a conventional STOLport. A ramp of 10:1 slope is required, along with appropriate patrol and crash boats. Fuel storage would be in the form of moored barges.
Amphibian STOL service generates unique problems: these include freezing of waters in northern climes, floating debris, ground fog on water, and sharing of “runway” with marine pleasure boat traffic. Solutions to such problems are at hand, in the form of operational technique or facilities, which are neither costly nor time-consuming to implement.