MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will be closing at 1:45 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 6 and will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Dec. 9.
April 12, 2012
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a commercial group that develops rockets and spacecraft, is proposing to build vertical launch and control areas in Cameron County, Texas, to conduct up to 12 commercial launches a year.
The FAA is hosting public scoping meetings as part of an environmental impact study to determine the effects of conducting orbital-vertical-launch-vehicle missions from the site. AOPA is reviewing the proposal to determine its impact on general aviation. Rocket or spacecraft launches typically result in temporary flight restrictions or other special-use airspace that can negatively impact GA flight operations in the vicinity.
Pilots can provide input during a May 15 meeting from 5 to 8 p.m. at the International Technology, Education and Commerce Center (ITEC Center) in Brownsville, Texas. The meeting will include a one-hour workshop at 5 p.m., followed by an overview of the environmental process at 6 p.m.; the time for comments will take place from 6:15 to 8 p.m.
Comments also can be submitted by email or mail before May 30 to: Stacey M. Zee, FAA Environmental Protection Specialist, SpaceX EIS c/o Cardno TEC Inc., 275 West Street, Suite 110, Annapolis, MD 21409. Please share a copy of your comments with AOPA.
After the environmental review is complete and satisfactory, SpaceX must still meet FAA safety, risk, and indemnification requirements before it can be granted launch licenses or experimental permits.
Advocacy and Legislation,
FAA Systems and Airspace,
A House bill that would force FAA to go through the rulemaking process before imposing new policies for sleep disorders has passed a key committee.
AOPA is urging Santa Rosa County officials who operate Peter Prince Field in Milton, Fla., to revise proposed rules to eliminate potential conflicts.
The House has passed a bill requiring the TSA to consult stakeholders, including general aviation representatives, before making major changes to security policy.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.