Supersonic flight in America is getting closer to becoming a reality

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  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is creating new regulations for supersonic aircraft.
  • The first regulation would "accommodate noise certification of new supersonic aircraft," the agency said on the website for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
  • The second would make it easier to get approval to test supersonic aircraft, Bloomberg reports.
  • Supersonic flight is not allowed over land in the US due to the disruptive sonic boom the aircraft produces.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is creating new regulations for supersonic aircraft that could help give the industry a boost.

The first regulation would "accommodate noise certification of new supersonic aircraft," the agency said on the website for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The second would make it easier to get approval to test supersonic aircraft, Bloomberg reports.

The FAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Supersonic flight is not allowed over land in the US due to the disruptive sonic boom the aircraft produces. Before it was retired in 2003, the Concorde supersonic aircraft focused on overseas trips like New York to London, which would take about three hours and thirty minutes on the Concorde, compared to about seven hours on a subsonic flight.

Since 2003, supersonic flight has been absent from the aviation industry, but startups like Boom Supersonic, Aerion Supersonic, and Spike Aerospace are developing supersonic aircraft for commercial use, with an emphasis on business travelers. The companies plan to deliver their aircraft between 2023 and 2025.

In April, NASA awarded Lockheed-Martin a $247.5 million contract to build a quiet supersonic aircraft. Lockheed will deliver the aircraft to NASA in late 2021, at which point NASA will test it over US cities to evaluate its noise-reduction capabilities. In December, Aerion announced a potential partnership with Lockheed that could result in a collaboration on the AS2 supersonic aircraft. At the time of the announcement, Lockheed said it would spend a year deciding whether it wanted to join the project.

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