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FAA to Open Updated Commercial Space Launch Rules for Public Comment

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will release a consolidated launch and reentry licensing rules for the commercial space launch industry "in the next few weeks" to solicit public comment, SpaceNews reported Wednesday.

Wayne Monteith, associate administrator for commercial space transportation at FAA, said at an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics-hosted virtual conference on Nov.18th that the updated regulations, dubbed "Part 450," are "in final coordination" and would be effective 90 days after its publication.

Following its dialogs with the industry, the agency looked into changing the launch licensing approach from prescriptive to performance based as suggested. The revised rules will also permit multiple launches from multiple sites under a single operator’s license.

"The worst thing we can do for this industry is to over-regulate to the point where we are not increasing the effectiveness of safety but creating hurdles to innovative companies or putting undue bureaucratic overhead on our existing companies," said Monteith.

FAA aims to promote the space launch sector growth while ensuring public safety with the updated regulations. The agency started rewriting the rules in 2018.