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FAA Seeks Funding Increase For Commercial Space Office

Cites Significant Growth In Launch And Recovery Activities

The FAA has requested a slight (by Washington standards) increase in funding for the commercial Space Office in the FY2021 budget.

Spacepolicyonline.com reports that the Department of Transportation budget request for the coming fiscal year includes $27.6 million for the Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST), a bump of $1.6 million. Of that, $685,000 would be used for staffing, with the rest undefined.

The office promotes and licenses commercial launches and reentries. The number of such activities is increasing, and the industry has been clamoring for several years for additional staff to process requests.

The FAA's Air Traffic Organization (ATO) is working to develop more efficient integration of space activities to minimize disruptions to commercial and other air traffic. A Space Data Integrator tool is under development to automate the process of reopening airspace. DOT has requested $11 million for that effort, down from $23 million in FY2020.

On the other hand, the budget request for space transportation safety in the Engineering & Development (RE&D) portion of the budget has increased to $5.8 million, more than twice the $2.5 million appropriated in FY2020.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report


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