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We’re here to help you! The NOAA office that recently demanded that it has the legal power to regulate all camera images from space announced this week that it has vastly streamlined its licensing process.
Really? Let’s take a look at their own numbers:
Samira Patel, an analyst with the Aerospace Corporation supporting CRSRA [Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs at NOAA], said that in 2015 the average review time for a license application was 210 days, with only 1 of 15 applications completed within the 120-day time limit established in federal law. In 2016, that decreased to an average of 140 days, with 5 of 12 applications reviewed within 120 days.
Last year, Patel said the office completed reviews of license applications on an average of 91 days. Only 2 of 16 applications took more than 120 days, she said, “and that was only by a few days.” [emphasis mine]
My heart be still. It now takes them only three months on average to get a permit approved. Imagine how fast they’ll do it when they have to approve every tourist image taken of Earth from the many proposed private space stations.
The article does note that the Trump administration is reviewing the entire permitting process for commercial space, and that this responsibility, as well as the FAA’s licensing responsibility, could soon be merged and moved to the Department of Commerce. I hope that, in the process of this rearrangement, they throw out this new power-grab. The government has no business licensing any image-taking by any private entity.