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FAA Celebrates 2020 Record of Licensed Space Operations; Elaine Chao Quoted

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The Federal Aviation Administration has approved 41 commercial space launches and reentries in 2020, breaking a new record in the area. FAA said Thursday that it expects the number of licensed commercial space activities to reach 50 this year.

“This record-setting year in launches, and the new streamlined launch and reentry licensing regulations, bode well for continued rapid growth of America’s commercial space sector,” said Elaine Chao, secretary of Transportation.

The agency also reorganized its commercial transportation office to update how commercial operations are licensed. Multiple regulatory FAA segments combine into one licensing system for launch and reentry activities.

FAA attributed its 2020 milestones to this organizational change that helped the agency streamline space operations licensing. The Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Council (COMSTAC) will help FAA implement new rules to further boost licensing efficiency.