CSF on NASA-FAA Deal: We Like It!

Washington, D.C. (CSF PR) – NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) held a teleconference on Monday to discuss their joint commercial human spaceflight vision. In the teleconference, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and FAA acting Administrator Michael Huerta announced that NASA and FAA will be working together closely to ensure that the FAA’s work in regulating commercial spaceflight and NASA’s work to procure American commercial crew transportation to the International Space Station are in harmony. The Memorandum of Understanding between the agencies states that it is intended to “[avoid] conflicting requirements and multiple sets of standards” and satisfy the National Space Policy, which directs agencies to “minimize, as much as possible, the regulatory burden for commercial space activities.”

Commercial Spaceflight Federation President Michael Lopez-Alegria said, “The FAA has successfully licensed many commercial launches since 1988, including those on the Atlas and Delta rockets, as well as the launch and re-entry of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft for their Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) demonstration last month.”

“NASA has 50 years of experience with human spaceflight, and an important interest in safeguarding its astronauts, while FAA is responsible for licensing and regulating commercial spaceflight. With proper implementation, the agreement announced on Monday will prevent over-regulation and conflicting requirements and regulations that would result in costly delays for the growing American commercial spaceflight industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation applauds NASA and FAA’s efforts to work together efficiently and looks forward to working with both agencies to promote the commercial spaceflight industry and encourage safe practices for the entire sector.”