Recognizing the increased interest in supersonic aircraft development, the FAA has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to include a procedure to request authorization under Part 91 for supersonic flights over the U.S. for testing and development of these new aircraft. Current regulations prohibit all overland supersonic civil flights in the U.S.
Specifically, the FAA is proposing to provide a “user-friendly” application procedure for these special flight authorizations by designating a single FAA office where applications and questions should be sent, consolidating the application requirements into a single list, and proposing a new reason for flight testing to accommodate future noise certification actions.
Each application must include: (1) The name of the operator; (2) The number and model(s) of the aircraft to be operated; (3) The number of proposed flights; (4) The date range during which the flights would be conducted; (5) The time of day the flights would be conducted; (6) A description of the flight area requested; (7) All conditions and limitations on the flights that will ensure that no measurable sonic boom overpressure will reach the surface outside of the proposed flight area; and (8) The reason(s) that operation at a speed greater than Mach 1 is necessary.
Furthermore, each applicant must indicate why its intended operation cannot be safely or properly accomplished over the ocean. Comments on the NPRM are due by August 27.