U.S. DOT Renews Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON (US DOT PR) — The U.S. Department of Transportation is renewing the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) through June 2023.

COMSTAC members lend their expertise to provide advice and recommendations to the Department and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on a host of topics. From safety and technology to operations and the international competitiveness of the U.S. commercial space transportation industry, members provide useful and relevant information.

The committee is currently charged with proposing updates to FAA’s human spaceflight guidance materials and recommending a spaceport grant funding mechanism, among several other tasks.

The role of COMSTAC is critical as the pace of commercial space operations quickens. In 2020, the FAA licensed 41 commercial space launches and reentries, the most in the agency’s history. For 2021, that number could reach 50 or more.

COMSTAC was first established in 1984. It is composed of approximately 22 members with experience in commercial space transportation. Members are appointed by the Secretary of Transportation.

The new COMSTAC charter can be viewed here.

Mojave Spaceport CEO Karina Drees to Become Commercial Spaceflight Federation President

Karina Drees

Washington, DC (CSF PR) – Commercial Spaceflight Federation announced today that Karina Drees will join the organization as its new president, effective January 4, 2021.

Since 2012, Drees served as CEO and General Manager of Mojave Air & Space Port (MASP) and held several other senior leadership positions at the company. She is currently the vice chair of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and has been an active member of the CSF Board of Directors for five years, including serving as treasurer from 2017 to 2020.

“Karina brings an impressive amount of senior leadership and business acumen to CSF, as well as in-depth knowledge and experience in the policy and regulatory arenas and the proven ability to grow an organization and build strategic alliances with key industry stakeholders,” said Audrey Powers, CSF Chairwoman of the Board of Directors and Vice President of Legal and Compliance for Blue Origin.

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Nine New Members Join FAA’s COMSTAC

WASHINGTON – (FAA PR) — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is pleased to announce nine new members  for the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). Secretary Elaine L. Chao approved the nominations along with the re-appointment of 13 members.

Since its inception in 1984, COMSTAC has provided information, advice, and recommendations to the DOT through the FAA about technology, business, and policy issues relevant to overseeing the U.S. commercial space transportation sector.

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