Congress negotiates supersonic commercial flights over the U.S territory


Washington - The commercial supersonic flight over the U.S. soil has been banned since 1978, but Congress might remove or mitigate the constraints. September 30 is the deadline to approve a proposed bill about the overland supersonic flights.

The U.S. Congress could reauthorize the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to set federal and international policies, regulations, and standards for the safe operation of commercial supersonic planes. A Senate bill prepared by Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is awaiting floor consideration.

The possibility of opening up the U.S. airspace to supersonic commercial flights has also prompted some environmental, and public health organizations who warned the authorities that the terms in the proposed FAA bill would allow future supersonic passenger jets to disregard the landing and takeoff noise standards required by law for subsonic jets.

Supporters of the bill assert that recent technological advancements in the aviation industry allow new generation supersonic jetliners to operate in accordance with the current environmental requirements.

Although the reauthorization is still pending, the FAA is already working on policies and regulations that would suggest supersonic flights over the land.

Current rules prevent civil aircraft from flying faster than Mach 1 (a speed equivalent to the speed of sound depending on the altitude), over the U.S. territory.

The Aerospace Industries Association established a working group to gain more support for supersonic civil aviation, and startups that are doing researches on new technologies such as Spike Aerospace Inc. and Boom Technologies.

Update: US House and Senate Committee have reached an agreement on multi-year legislation to reauthorize FAA for setting the policy and regulations about supersonic commercial flights over the U.S. soil through 2023. The announcement was made on September 22.