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Commercial Space Transportation Regulations

FAA commercial space transportation regulations are located in Chapter III, Parts 400 to 460, of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The regulations implement statutory requirements. Amateur Rocket Activities are not regulated under 14 CFR Chapter III; they are regulated under 14 CFR Chapter I, by the FAA Air Traffic Organization.

Proposed Streamlined Requirements

On March 26, 2019, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced proposed new rulemaking around launch and reentry requirements. The proposed rule provides a safe, performance-based regulatory approach to commercial space transportation. It promotes safety practices by creating flexibility for operators to meet safety requirements, and by enhancing collaboration among stakeholders. The rule also improves efficiency by encouraging potential and current launch site and reentry operators to suggest and implement design and operation solutions.

The published rulemakings listed below include commercial space transportation proposed rules and final rules that have been published in the Federal Register. These rulemaking documents include preamble language that provides background information and justification relevant to current regulations.

Notice of Proposed Rulemakings

Final Rules

Guidance Documents

Guidance documents provide information to aid understanding and compliance with specific FAA regulations. They include Advisory Circulars, guidelines, handbooks, and sample applications about commercial space transportation safety and other regulatory matters. Although not guidance per se, legal interpretations from the FAA's Office of the Chief Counsel address specific legal issues that have precedental effect.

Legislation or Regulation?

  • Legislation is a directive proposed by a legislative body
  • Regulation is a specific requirement within legislation.
  • Legislation is broader and more general.
  • Regulation is specific and details how legislation is enforced.

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