Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
On August 22, 2012, the FAA published the direct final rule entitled, “Voluntary Licensing of Amateur Rocket Operations” (77 FR 50584). In this rule, the FAA is amending the scope of its regulations to allow launch operators that conduct certain amateur rocket launches an opportunity to voluntarily apply for a commercial space transportation license or experimental permit. This rule received 4 adverse comments prior to comment period closing on September 21, 2012. The rule contained the effective date of October 9, 2012.
The original publication contained an incorrect regulatory identification number (RIN). This document contains the correct RIN 2120-AK16.
A direct final rule is based on the Administrative Procedure Act's good cause exception to prior notice and comment procedures, 5 U.S.C. 553. This exception is used where we have found that prior public comment procedure may be unnecessary because adverse comments are not expected. In determining whether an adverse comment is significant enough to end a rulemaking, we consider whether the comment would warrant a substantive response in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
The effective date of a direct final rule is normally a minimum of 30 calendar days after the end of the comment period. This rule published with an effective date of 15 calendar days after the end of the comment period to accommodate NASA's deadline in funding licensed launches. However, we received 4 substantive comments that require further analysis and determination. The FAA needs additional time to address the comments received and decide on the appropriate action.
Accordingly, the effective date for Notice No. 400-4 is delayed untilNovember 8, 2012.