In an effort to ease the regulations on commercial space industry, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation published a proposal that intends to give wings to the commercial space industry, which has long been bound by outdated regulations, according to a report by TechCrunch.
In an effort to ease the commercial spaceflight regulations, the Trump administration came up with ‘State Policy Directive 2’ in May last year. The directive called on Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to release a new regulatory framework for managing launch and re-entry activity.
The FAA takes care of the public, property, and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States during commercial launch or reentry activities, and encouraging, facilitating and promoting U.S. commercial space transportation.
The document released in draft form on Tuesday aims to bring some parity in the industry that has long been unable to keep up with the pace of the changing landscape in the commercial flight arena.
The document prepared by FAA and DOT titled “Streamlined Launch and Re-entry Licensing Requirements” goes on to state:
“This rulemaking would streamline and increase flexibility in the FAA’s commercial space launch and re-entry regulations, and remove obsolete requirements. This action would consolidate and revise multiple regulatory parts and apply a single set of licensing and safety regulations across several types of operations and vehicles. The proposed rule would describe the requirements to obtain a vehicle operator license, the safety requirements, and the terms and conditions of a vehicle operator license.”
Speaking about the financial aspect of the proposal, the document notes:
“Based on the preliminary analysis, the FAA estimates industry to gain about $19 million in discounted present value net savings over a period of 5 years. In addition, the FAA will save around $1 million in the same time period. The FAA expects the industry to gain significantly if the proposed rule is implemented.”
It is worthwhile to note here that the regulatory guidance has been issued on the same day when Vice President Mike Pence announced that U.S. astronauts must make a return journey to the moon again within the next five years “by any means necessary.”