FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation
As SpaceX prepares for the first high-altitude test flight of its Starship reusable launch vehicle, the FAA is starting a new environmental review required for the company’s future launch vehicle plans.
The revised rules for commercial launch and reentry will be officially posted for public comment in the coming weeks, said Wayne Monteith, the FAA’s associate administrator for commercial space transportation.
The FAA’s rapid success in creating updated launch and reentry rules reflects its leadership’s measured look at the current regulations and willingness to build on what they have learned from the commercial launch community.
The FAA's recently updated commercial space launch and reentry licensing requirements "will simplify the licensing process, allow more room for innovation, and reduce costs — all without sacrificing safety," writes U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The commercial space industry hopes to continue recent progress in regulatory reform even if there is a new president or a change in party control in Congress after the election.
The FAA released Oct. 15 the final version of updated commercial launch and reentry regulations, although those in industry say the regulatory reform process is far from over.
A spending bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee July 14 once again rejects an administration proposal to combine the Office of Space Commerce with another office and increase its budget to perform space traffic management work.
A White House official said June 22 that while the administration supports commercial space transportation, companies with ambitions of high-speed point-to-point suborbital spaceflight should focus on near-term goals instead.
SpaceX has received a license from the Federal Aviation Administration allowing the company to carry out suborbital flight tests of its Starship next-generation launch vehicle.
As the Federal Aviation Administration licenses another commercial spaceport, it has formally opened an office to address the issues facing such launch sites.
The FAA office responsible for licensing commercial launches and reentries has completed a reorganization announced nearly a year ago intended to improve its efficiency.
The FAA’s commercial space office is seeking a modest budget increase in fiscal year 2021 as it also works on a reorganization and revision of commercial launch regulations.
The Federal Aviation Administration has approved a reorganization of the office that oversees commercial launches in a bid to improve its efficiency as the number of launches grows.
The former chairman of the House aviation subcommittee and adviser to United Launch Alliance argues that all commercial spaceflight companies should support, rather than disrupt, the FAA's ongoing effort to streamline existing launch licensing processes.
The former head of the Federal Aviation Administration’s commercial space office says the government should create a policy that promotes the development of spaceports as not just launch sites but also as hubs for economic development.