HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has once again delayed the completion of SpaceX’s Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA).
The FAA has set a new date for the completion of the Final PEA citing “further comment review and ongoing interagency consultations” on their website.
The new date is March 28, 2022, which is yet another delay from the previous December 31, 2021, and February 28, 2022 dates. The FAA says they received 19,000 comments during the public comment period in October 2021.
The Finalized PEA is part of the process for SpaceX to receive a vehicle operator license to conduct an orbital Starship test flight, however, it does not guarantee that they will get it upon completion of the PEA. If the finalized PEA calls for a subsequent Environmental Impact Statment, more studies on the Starship program will have to be conducted.
During Elon Musk’s Starship presentation last Thursday at the Boca Chica launch pad, Musk explained that while he had little insight into what the FAA will decide, he said he had a “rough indication” that there “may be an approval in March.”
Musk said during his presentation that further delay from the FAA would cause Starship operations to move to Florida, where SpaceX has already received a license to launch Starship. He added that this would cause a six to eight-month delay in the Starship program, as they would have to finish building in Florida.