The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a final rule to facilitate the safe development of civil supersonic aircraft.
The FAA rule streamlines and clarifies procedures to obtain FAA approval for supersonic flight testing in the United States.
“Today’s action is a significant step toward reintroducing civil supersonic flight and demonstrates the Department’s commitment to safe innovation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
This rule will help ensure that companies developing these aircraft clearly understand the process for gaining FAA approval to conduct flight testing, which is a key step in ultimately bringing their products to market.
“The FAA supports the new development of supersonic aircraft as long as safety parameters are followed,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “The testing of supersonic aircraft at Mach 1 will only be conducted following consideration of any impact to the environment.”
The Department and the FAA anticipate taking additional regulatory actions to enable the development of supersonic aircraft.
Top image credit Aeron. Next image credit Virgin Galactic
The final rule (PDF)