Opportunity to Comment on Repeal of or Changes to Space Rules Extended

By notice dated November 3 in the Federal Register, the Department of Transportation announced that it is reopening the comment period for its Regulatory Review.  This notice applies to, among other regulatory regimes, the commercial space regulations of 14 C.F.R. Ch. III.  Commenters must file by December 1, 2017.

The original notice explained that DOT needed to know about regulations that would be appropriate for suspension, repeal, replacement, or modification.  It asked the public to consider whether any of its regulations provided the opportunity to, in relevant part:

(4) eliminate conflicts and inconsistencies with the rules of other Federal agencies or state, local, or tribal governments, … (6) revise regulations in which technology, economic conditions or other factors have changed in the area affected by the regulation; (7) reconsider regulations that were based on scientific or other information that has been discredited or superseded; (8) reconsider the burdens imposed on those directly or indirectly affected by the regulation and, specifically, those that are costly when compared to the benefit provided; (9) reconsider burdens imposed on small entities; (10) foster innovation by revising regulations to include performance standards for regulatory compliance; and (11) reduce burdens by incorporating international or industry consensus standards into regulations.

Additionally, DOT provides guidance on how to make any comments submitted more useful:

1. Specific reference. A specific reference to the policy statement, guidance document, regulation, or other agency action that imposes the burden that the comment discusses. This should be a citation to the Code of Federal Regulations, a guidance document number, or an Internet link. A specific reference will assist the Department in identifying the requirement, the original source of the requirement, and relevant documentation that may describe the history and effects of the requirement.
2. Description of burden. A description of the burden that the identified policy statement, guidance document, regulation, or other agency action imposes. A comment that describes how the policy statement, guidance document, regulation, or other agency action is burdensome is more useful than a comment that merely asserts that it is burdensome. Comments that reflect experience with the requirement and provide data describing that experience are more credible than comments that are not tied to direct experience. Verifiable, quantifiable data describing burdens are more useful than anecdotal descriptions.
3. Description of less burdensome alternatives. If the commenter believes that the objective that motivated the policy statement, guidance document, regulation, or other agency action may be achieved using a less burdensome alternative, the commenter should describe that alternative in detail. Likewise, if the commenter believes that there is not a less burdensome alternative or there is not a legitimate objective motivating the requirement, then that should be explained in the comment.

Comments due by:  December 1, 2017

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