Senate appropriators weigh in on commercial launch regulatory reform

Jeff Foust

A Senate appropriations bill that funds the Federal Aviation Administration for fiscal year 2020 also called on the agency to revise its approach to streamlining commercial launch and regulatory regulations.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved Sept. 19 a bill that funds the Department of Transportation, which includes the FAA, as well as the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The bill includes $26.04 million for the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, compared to an administration request of $25.598 million and $24.949 million provided in the House’s version of the spending bill.

While the bill slightly increases the funding of the office, which licenses commercial launch activity, the committee was critical of the ongoing effort to streamlining that licensing process, calling on the FAA to release another draft of proposed regulations.

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