Wednesday November 13, 2019
Home Lead Story FAA Propose N...

FAA Propose New Rules To Help Supersonic Flight

U.S. startups Aerion, Boom Supersonic and Spike Aerospace are working to reintroduce supersonic passenger travel

0
//
FAA, Rules, Supersonic
FILE - Daniel Elwell, acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, testifies during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 15, 2019. VOA

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Monday it is moving to rewrite testing rules to allow for the eventual return of civil supersonic air travel.

At an event in Paris on Monday, Acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell said the agency is working to “enable the return of civil supersonic travel, while ensuring the environmental impacts are understood and properly addressed.”

Later this week, the FAA will issue a proposed rule for “special flight authorization for supersonic aircraft,” Elwell said. This is the first step toward revising the FAA’s 45-year-old rules governing supersonic transport.

U.S. startups Aerion, Boom Supersonic and Spike Aerospace are working to reintroduce supersonic passenger travel for the first time since the Anglo-French Concorde retired in 2003.

FAA, Rules, Supersonic
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Monday it is moving to rewrite testing rules to allow for the eventual return of civil supersonic air travel. Pixabay

The rule “modifies and clarifies existing regulatory procedures for a more efficient way to obtain FAA approval to test supersonic aircraft.”

The rule “will provide a streamlined, clear line of sight on how to gain approval to conduct flight testing. This is a necessary, key step for further research and development in an emerging segment — and ultimately bring their aircraft to market,” Elwell added in remarks provided by the FAA.

According to a draft of the FAA proposal reviewed by Reuters, the agency said the proposed updates “are intended to support the growth of the civil supersonic industry” and will “provide increased clarity and information to applications as to the requirements for special flight authorizations to test supersonic aircraft.”

In February, Boeing said it had made a significant investment in supersonic business jet developer Aerion, as the world’s biggest planemaker looks to tap into rising demand for high-end aircraft that can reduce travel time.

Also Read- US Measles Caseload Rises Again: 22 New Infections Recorded Amid The Worst Outbreak in 27 Years

Boeing will provide engineering, manufacturing and flight testing services for Aerion’s $120 million supersonic business jet, which is slated for its first flight in 2023.

Congress last year approved legislation directing the FAA to issue proposed rules setting noise standards for landing and takeoff, and noise test requirements for civil supersonic aircraft by March 2020, and modernizing the application process by December 2019.

Next generation supersonic jets, while quieter and more fuel efficient than the Concorde, have difficulty meeting existing noise levels and carbon emissions standards for conventional planes due to engine constraints and higher fuel burn. (VOA)

Next Story

EPA Seeks to Rewrite Rules for Dealing with Lead Pipes Contaminating Drinking Water

Communities and families in Flint, Michigan, Newark, New Jersey, and elsewhere have had to grapple with high levels of lead

0
EPA, Rules, Lead
FILE - A bottled water dispenser sits in a hallway at Gardner Elementary School in Detroit, Sept. 4, 2018. Some 50,000 Detroit public school students will drink water from coolers, not fountains, after the discovery of elevated levels of lead or copper. VOA

The Trump administration Thursday proposed a rewrite of rules for dealing with lead pipes contaminating drinking water, but critics say the changes appear to give water systems decades more time to replace pipes leaching dangerous amounts of toxic lead. EPA.

Contrary to regulatory rollbacks in many other environmental areas, the administration has called dealing with lead contamination in drinking water a priority. Communities and families in Flint, Michigan, Newark, New Jersey, and elsewhere have had to grapple with high levels of lead in tap water and with regulatory failures dealing with the health threat.

Lead in drinking water has been linked to developmental delays in children and can damage the brain, red blood cells and kidneys. It is most often caused by lead service lines — pipes connecting a home to a water main — or lead fixtures in a home or school.

At a news conference in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced changes that include requiring water systems to test lead levels in water at schools and child care facilities.

EPA, Rules, Lead
Contrary to regulatory rollbacks in many other environmental areas, the administration has called dealing with lead contamination in drinking water a priority. Pixabay

But Wheeler disappointed conservation groups by declining to lower the level of lead contamination in drinking water systems that triggers cleanup action. And another change lowered the amount of lead pipe that water systems have to replace each year once the threshold is hit, cutting it from 7% a year to 3% a year.

That, according to Eric Olson at the Natural Resources Defense Council conservation group, would give water utilities about 20 more years to fully replace all the lead pipes in a contaminated system.

Wheeler said a series of other, smaller changes in the new proposals would offset that. Overall, he argued, the rule changes, if the White House ultimately adopts them, would mean leaking old lead pipes are “replaced at a much faster rate than ever before.”

Also Read- Hundreds of School Children in Nigeria Join Global Fight for Climate Action

Betsy Southerland, a senior EPA water official under the Obama administration, said the new proposals largely miss the opportunity to boost the urgency of the country’s rules, issued in 1991, for cleaning up lead in water systems. Asked her overall impression, she said, “I would say disappointing.” (IANS)