Presented is a foundational, embryonic frame of reference for contemplating future transportation architectures open to practically any configuration, seeking innovation in transportation not through a particular technology but through a new way of thinking. The approach foregoes the usual employment of a reductionism perspective in favor of the view that one must first understand the whole before the individual parts of a complex system are designed, for the essence of the problem likely appears only from this holistic perspective. Nevertheless, it does not necessarily make communication between the involved facets any easier. An effective lexicon is proposed to bridge the gap between understanding and communication across the multiple domains that under-gird transportation. The holistic perspective with an effective lexicon establishes the foundation for the primary thrust of the paper: the establishment of an entity-centric abstraction framework that allows practitioners and theorists to navigate, communicate, model and design collaboratively as well as produce a useful product to the decision makers. The framework effectively guides modeling in such a way that nearly any conceivable combination of transportation resources, economies or policies is admissible. Overlaid with socioeconomic data and utilizing an agent-based modeling technique, simulation studies are reported upon for the dual purpose of documenting the use of the entity-centric abstraction approach as well as to expose key findings concerning the potential benefit of emerging aviation technologies.


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