Again, I agree this could happen.Yes, but I could see GA being outlawed in favor of these things. Our airplanes could present a real risk to them in the air.
On the other hand, Manned Autonomous Flying Systems (MAFS) could be the SAVIORS of GA. (there, I created an acronym
I live about 30 miles south of Seattle, in one of the many bedroom communities in the Seattle/Tacoma area. If, say, 2,000 people out here decide they're going to commute to Seattle with their MAFS...where are they going to land?
Sure, someone could convert a parking lot into a MAFS-port. But how long will the city tolerate having 2,000 aerial vehicles SCREAMING in to land, in the morning, and screaming out in the evening? People jostling...in the air...for better parking spots? MAFS descending willy-nilly under emergency parachutes?
Note that NYC is trying to get helicopters banned...do you think they'll tolerate hundreds of similar vehicles trying to fit into narrow streets between buildings to land in these little spots?
They need somewhere to put these things; somewhere that's outside the city property, somewhere that is already inured to the noise of aircraft.
An airport, in other words.
Seattle has King County International (Better known as Boeing Field) just south of downtown. They're even putting a light rail station there that'll connect to downtown. The people with MAFS are well-off folks who want a convenient place to park their vehicle and connect to downtown. Set up a corral for them with their own approach paths, and you're set.
After all, *most* aircraft going into Boeing Field have to have ADS-B out. So the system that routes the MAFS in just takes fixed wing traffic into consideration. King County contains Boeing's flight test center. No way they're going to shut down fixed-wing traffic.
Works in reverse, too. Do you think the tony neighborhoods outlying Seattle are going to want MAFS screaming out of their hangars at 6 AM, or falling from the skies at dusk. Nope...they'll need space at the local airports, too. Not to mention somewhere to get mechanical issues taken care of The political pressure to close airports should decrease, with the main effort needing to keep open some parts of the field for the fixed-wing crowd.
They *could* take over our existing airports, no question. But the market will build slowly. The traditional GA crowd will be in control for quite a while, and will need to ensure their needs are maintained.