June 23, 2022

An FAA/industry committee, the Space Collaborative Decision Making Space Operations Committee (SpCDM SpOC), recently launched to consider ways to mitigate the impact of space operations on the National Airspace System (NAS) and integrate these operations in a safe, efficient manner.

The SpCDM will enable space operators to build the collaboration framework with the FAA, leveraging existing industry bodies. It is not a licensing or regulating entity, nor will it make decisions, form consensus or create standards. Instead, it is a method of information exchange between the FAA and industry.

The group’s executive committee launched more than a year ago, while the committee launched last week with a three-year initial charter.

The SpCDM SpOC is one of several recommendations of the 2019 Airspace Access Prioritization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), of which NBAA was a key participant.

The Space Data Integrator, an operational prototype that receives and distributes launch and reentry data for initial use within the NAS to enable improved situational awareness and airspace management decision-making, is another outcome of the ARC recommendations.

“The FAA saw the value in the 14 recommendations that were put forward in the 2019 Airspace Access Prioritization ARC and has already acted on numerous recommendations, including development of the SDI and the creation of SpCDM SpOC,” said Heidi Williams, senior director of air traffic services and infrastructure. “NBAA is thrilled to be a part of this discussion. We realize the value of the industry/FAA collaboration through long-standing collaborative decision-making groups.”

The SpCDM SpOC follows the more than 20-year successful precedent set by the Collaborative Decision Working Group on Airspace. NBAA has served on that group for more than two decades.