Reverse the Ban on Supersonic Air Travel

With the first hundred days of Trump’s presidency right around the corner, Trump and his close advisors are about to set the pace of their Administration by proclaiming a number of Executive Actions that could become the guide posts of their policymaking over the next four years. One area that is critically important to me is commercial air travel. I believe the US airline industry has brought enormous personal fulfillment and economic benefit to millions of Americans, and I think Trump has a great opportunity to bring even more benefit to Americans by increasing the speed at which we travel.

Specifically, I propose that Trump reverse the ban of supersonic flight over the US. Reversing the ban on supersonic travel over the US would facilitate tremendous investment in the development of new supersonic airplanes, in addition to drastically reducing in-air travel time for American workers and goods. But first, let’s take a look back at why and when the FAA banned commercial supersonic air travel in the first place:

In 1976, amidst technophobe skepticism, the FAA banned civilian aircraft from creating a sonic boom over the US. The ban was due largely because of NIMBY groups such as Citizens League Against the Sonic Boom and the Anti-Concorde project who successfully lobbied the FAA towards creating a ban on civil sonic booms. And despite the baseless fear-mongering, such as claiming the windows in your house will break, the FAA did actually conduct a study with NASA and the U.S. Air Force regarding the effects of sonic booms. The results proved that the effects after 680 sonic booms over one particular testing site caused no significant structural damage. Thus, by sticking the the science, one has to reasonably believe that the effects of sonic booms are overstated, and more broadly, the ban on civil sonic booms is holding back technological progress.

The recently founded aerospace startup, Boom Technology, has recently provided a glimpse of hope as it aims to build a commercially-viable aircraft that is faster and lighter than the Concorde. But what good is this for American travelers if the policy of the FAA does not progress along with the new technology?

For President-elect Trump, whose own campaign was literally and figuratively propelled by a fine American-made jet, reversing the ban on supersonic air travel would be an easy early win towards dismantling needless regulation and bringing America back to the former glory of the Jet Age.

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John Marbach

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11 2016
  • Robert Heston

    Wow, real important issue there. Trump is about to kill all the regulations on fossil fuel, put pipelines in everywhere, increase the use of coal, get rid of the EPA, his pick to head the department of labor hates working people, his pick for the department of education wants to privatize everything, the government uses fascism like Stalin or Hitler and IS the definition of fascism, the American economy has been hollowed out by corrupt, greedy politicians who represent nothing but corporate interests, more than 60,000 factories have left the country, the melting, millions of square miles of permafrost are pumping out more CO2 than humans did in 1950 while humans today are pumping out more of it than ever, there is more than 10 times the amount of frozen methane (methane hydrate) in the Arctic Sea to kill all the life on this planet and the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, any time now enough methane can be released over a period of just a few days to kill all life on the planet, the government is on the verge of starting WWIII with Russia and China, we have, so far, slaughtered more than 2 MIllion people in the Middle East and 3/4 of them were innocent and no threat to us… So, there’s not much chance the human race will survive beyond the year 2050, the US is becoming a 3rd world country inhabited by ignorant slaves, the new President is a freaking, total moron that will probably insure the destruction of life on Earth, but we are concerned about sonic booms??!!