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Virgin Galactic Cleared to Fly Following Conclusion of FAA Inquiry

Virgin Galactic today announced that it is cleared to fly FAA-licenced spaceflights following the conclusion of an FAA inquiry that focused on air traffic control clearance and real-time mission notification related to the Unity 22 flight in July.

The FAA today advised Virgin Galactic that the corrective actions proposed by the Company have been accepted and conclude the FAA inquiry, which began August 11, 2021. They include:

  • Updated calculations to expand the protected airspace for future flights. Designating a larger area will ensure that Virgin Galactic has ample protected airspace for a variety of possible flight trajectories during spaceflight missions.
  • Additional steps into the Company’s flight procedures to ensure real-time mission notifications to FAA Air Traffic Control.

Michael Colglazier, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic, said: “Our entire approach to spaceflight is guided by a fundamental commitment to safety at every level, including our spaceflight system and our test flight program. We appreciate the FAA’s thorough review of this inquiry. Our test flight program is specifically designed to continually improve our processes and procedures. The updates to our airspace and real-time mission notification protocols will strengthen our preparations as we move closer to the commercial launch of our spaceflight experience.”

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Virgin Galactic continues to focus on its pre-flight readiness for Unity 23.

Source: Virgin Galactic
Date: Sep 30, 2021


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