Supersonic Aircraft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Monday, March 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today took a major step forward toward reintroducing supersonic commercial air travel with a proposed rulemaking to set noise certification standards for new supersonic aircraft.

The purpose of the noise certification Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is to add landing and takeoff noise standards for a certain class of new supersonic airplanes. The NPRM is open for public comment for 90 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

This NPRM follows a 2019 FAA proposed rule to update the requirements to apply for a special flight authorization for flying above Mach 1 in the United States. The FAA initiated these two proposed rulemakings for manufacturers interested in developing supersonic aircraft.

Supersonic commercial air transportation was introduced in the 1970s, and today’s proposed rulemaking reflects the many technical advancements in aviation that have occurred since that time. These developments include new noise-reduction technologies such as improved engine designs and materials available for airframe manufacturing.

These actions toward renewed civil supersonic commercial flight advance the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) priority on innovation in transportation.

For additional details on today’s proposed rulemaking and efforts by the FAA and DOT, see the supersonic fact sheet.