FAA Developing Tool to Facilitate Space Launches and Commercial Flights

Congress has extended FAA funding through early March.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is seeking to ensure that increased commercial space launches do not impact commercial flight schedules through software called the Space Data Integrator SDI). The FAA has habitually closed off airspace to prevent the risk of an airplane encountering debris from space launches. However, as commercial rocket launch scheduling continues, the agency is looking for solutions that do not disrupt commercial flights.

Last year, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that “the closure of airspace to accommodate commercial space launches now happens often enough to noticeably affect airline schedules,” particularly in Florida.

While the FAA has already reduced the amount of time it closes airspace, from more than four hours to roughly two, the agency needs additional funding to continue the development of the SDI tool. The current FAA Reauthorization has been extended by Congress until March 8.

The FAA will also be holding a Commercial Space Transportation Conference in February.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For FAA Administrator Whitaker as he seeks adequate funding from Congress to develop the space scheduling management tool.
  • For researchers and scientists as they work on the Space Data Integrator.
  • For the Transportation Department secretary and officials as they assess the impact of space launches on commercial flights.

Sources: FedScoop, Roll Call

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