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FAA Direct Final Rule - Launch Safety: Lightning Criteria for Expendable Launch Vehicles

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published 14 CFR Part 417 Launch Safety: Lightning Criteria for Expendable Launch Vehicles, Direct Final Rule, June 8, 2011 (PDF) which amends the FAA lightning commit criteria to account for new information about the risks of natural and triggered lightning.

This action amends flight criteria for mitigating against naturally occurring lightning and lightning triggered by the flight of an expendable launch vehicle through or near an electrified environment in or near a cloud. These changes will increase launch availability and implement changes already adopted by the United States Air Force.

The Final Rule will be effective July 25, 2011. Comments regarding this Rule must be submitted on or before July 8, 2011 to Docket Number FAA-2011-0181. You can submit comments using one of these options:

  • OnlineFederal eRulemaking Portal
  • Mail – Send comments to: Docket Operations U.S. Department of Transportation 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140 Washington, DC 20590
  • Fax – Fax comments to: Docket Operations: (202) 493-2251
  • Hand Delivery – Take comments to: Docket Operations Room W12-140 of (West Building Ground Floor) 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE Washington, DC 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (except Federal holidays)

Contact Information:
Karen Shelton-Mur (For Technical Questions)
FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation
(202) 267-7985

Laura Montgomery (For Legal Questions)
FAA Office of the Chief Counsel
(202) 267-3150

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