View all text of Chapter 447 [§ 44701 - § 44743]

§ 44740. Special rule for certain aircraft operations
(a)In General.—The operator of an aircraft with a special airworthiness certification in the experimental category may—
(1) operate the aircraft for the purpose of conducting a space support vehicle flight (as that term is defined in section 50902 of title 51); and
(2) conduct such flight under such certificate carrying persons or property for compensation or hire—
(A) notwithstanding any rule or term of a certificate issued by the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration that would prohibit flight for compensation or hire; or
(B) without obtaining a certificate issued by the Administrator to conduct air carrier or commercial operations.
(b)Limited Applicability.—Subsection (a) shall apply only to a space support vehicle flight that satisfies each of the following:
(1) The aircraft conducting the space support vehicle flight—
(A) takes flight and lands at a single site that is operated by an entity licensed for operation under chapter 509 of title 51;
(B) is owned or operated by a launch or reentry vehicle operator licensed under chapter 509 of title 51, or on behalf of a launch or reentry vehicle operator licensed under chapter 509 of title 51;
(C) is a launch vehicle, a reentry vehicle, or a component of a launch or reentry vehicle licensed for operations pursuant to chapter 509 of title 51; and
(D) is used only to simulate space flight conditions in support of—
(i) training for potential space flight participants, government astronauts, or crew (as those terms are defined in chapter 509 of title 51);
(ii) the testing of hardware to be used in space flight; or
(iii) research and development tasks, which require the unique capabilities of the aircraft conducting the flight.
(c)Rules of Construction.—
(1)Space support vehicles.—Section 44711(a)(1) shall not apply to a person conducting a space support vehicle flight under this section only to the extent that a term of the experimental certificate under which the person is operating the space support vehicle prohibits the carriage of persons or property for compensation or hire.
(2)Authority of administrator.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to exempt a person from a regulatory prohibition on the carriage of persons or property for compensation or hire subject to terms and conditions other than those described in this section.
(Added Pub. L. 115–254, div. B, title V, § 581(b)(1), Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3398, § 44737; renumbered § 44740 and amended Pub. L. 116–260, div. V, title I, § 107(d)(1), (3), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 2326.)