The Federal Aviation Administration aims to discuss and release new regulations and spaceport categories by end of 2018 or early next year, to speed up approval for space launches and allow more facilities to accommodate space operations in the U.S., Politico reported Friday.
The FAA’s newly-established Spaceport Categorization Aviation Rulemaking Committee plans to submit a report by end of this year on the development of spaceport categories to clarify the use of ports across the country. Daniel Elwell, acting administrator of FAA, said the report will come amid the growing efforts of states and localities to increase commercial space operations.
“It’s hard to imagine that we’re at the place where airport and spaceport are used in the same sentence — but here we are,” he said.
The FAA also hopes to issue new regulations in February to reduce licensing and safety paperwork for space launches. Elwell said the changes would put approximately 400 pages of multiple regulations into a single regulation, allowing companies to “spend far less time reviewing and more time launching.”
“In short order, we’re getting rid of rules that have outlived their usefulness or are unnecessarily burdensome,” the FAA head said.