Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

airline, commercial space, general aviation, airspace, spaceplane, space shuttle, rocket, launch


When industries share key portions of their eco-systems, industry-industry competitive and structural pressures can inhibit the advancement of both. In the case of aviation and commercial space, an eco-system component critical to both industries is shared airspace. The integration of air and space activities in a safe, efficient, effective, and equitable manner is compulsory for both industries to grow and thrive. In order to develop solutions, one must first understand the effects of space operations on current national airspace system (NAS) users. By using actual flight data in a simulation environment of space operations out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, we analyze the number and type of impacted flights based on historical airspace closure data. Results indicate that while the majority of the impacted flights were of domestic U.S. carriers, international carrier flights accounted for 9.5% of those impacted by vertical launch operations and 8.3% of those impacted by horizontal spaceplane landings. Further, general aviation (GA) flights accounted for 33% of the flights impacted by horizontal landings. The study also provided an initial understanding of airports involved by reviewing flight origin and destination of impacted flights.

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