FAA Grants Certificate Of Waiver For World View Inaugural Launch

On Sunday, World View, the near-space balloon tourism company, made its inaugural launch from its Tucson, Arizona facility. The purpose of Sunday’s launch was to “perfect launch protocol from its home base of operations.”

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In August, the Federal Aviation Administration granted a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization valid from August 15, 2017, through August 14, 2018. The FAA informed the company that if it intends “to request renewal of the waiver,” it will have to file a new application.

In a press release, World View characterized Sunday’s mission as “another important milestone,” in World View’s series of development and demonstration missions.

“Spaceport Tucson, the first ever, purpose built stratospheric launch facility in the world, is now open for business,” said Jane Poynter in the press release. Poynter is described in the press release as the “founder and CEO of World View, which operates the facility on behalf of Pima County.”

Pima County and World View are embroiled in a lawsuit with the Goldwater Institute. To date, Pima County Superior Court Judge Catherine Woods has ruled against the County.

In October 2016, Judge Woods found that the Goldwater Institute successfully explained its position that Pima County “’unquestionably abused’ its discretion in spending taxpayer money and lending its credit when Pima County officials took on $15 million in new debt, commenced the construction of the headquarters and balloon pad to be used by a private for-profit corporation that had an unproven ability to conduct its intended operations, failed to obtain competitive bids, committed to lease the premises to the private for-profit corporation at below market rates, and granted to that corporation the right to operate, maintain, and control access to the pad (which would include keeping any profits it makes from allowing other third parties to use the pad).”

In July 2017, World View was the subject of embarrassment when a much publicized launch of a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) sandwich was a flop. Because the Tucson site lacked the necessary FAA licensing, the failed mission was launched from a location 40 miles out of Tucson, reported Theverge.com. According to Geekwire.com, “World View Enterprises said its “Zinger 1” mission to keep a KFC chicken sandwich aloft in the stratosphere was terminated earlier than planned, due to a small leak in an altitude-control balloon system on its Stratollite platform. The company’s CEO, Jane Poynter, said today in a statement that the payload was brought down about 17 hours after the balloon launch on Thursday in Arizona.”

Should the company achieve its goals, according to Geekwire.com, “the ticket price for World View’s future Voyager flights is $75,000.”

The protocols required in the waiver are stringent. The waiver reads:

1. Authority to deviate from the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) is limited to specific regulations shown on the Ce11ificate of Waiver. All other applicable FARs must be fully complied with.

2. All operations under this certificate and special provisions are subject to ATC approval. In addition to traffic volume and other safety of flight situations , prior scheduled events affecting the air traffic service areas have priority in the approval process, i.e., runway construction, major fly-in events, air shows , etc.

3. Twelve (12) to 72 hours prior to conducting operations: Notify Prescott Auto mated Flight Service Station (AFSS) at 877-487-6867 and request to have a No tice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued referencing this Certificate. If no response, contact the Prescott AFSS, Operations Supervisor at 928-583-6154.

4. In addition to filing a NOTAM in paragraph 3 above, contact the following facilities at the indicated times to provide details regarding your operation:

  • Tucson Airport Traffic Control Tower (TUS)
  • Tucson Terminal Radar Approach Control (U90)
  • Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZAB)

a. Thirty (30) days prior to conducting operations:

  • TUS via email to ATOT-WSA-TUS-Admin @faa.gov
  • ZAB via email to 9-ASW-ZAB530@ faa .gov
  • ZAB at 505-856-4534

b. Seven (7) days prior to conducting operations:

  • TUS via e mail to ATOT-WSA-TUS-Admin@ faa.gov
  • U90 at 520-829-6068/67
  • ZAB at 505-856-4534 or 505-856-4530

c. Three (3) business days prior to conducting operations:

  • TUS via email to ATOT-WSA-TUS -Admin @faa.gov
  • ZAB at 505-856-4534 or 505-856-4530

d. Twelve (12) to 24 hours prior to conducting operations:

  • TUS via e ma il to ATOT-WSA-T US-Admin@faa.gov
  • U90 at 520-829-6068/67
  • ZAB at 505-856-4534 or 505-856-4530

e. One (1) to two (2) hours prior to launch (provide the most current forecasted trajectory):

  • TUS at 520-295-5730
  • U90 at 520-829-6068/67
  • ZAB at 505-856-4574

f. Fifteen (15) minutes prior to launch (conduct cellular telephone connectivity check at this time):

  • TUS at 520-295-5730
  • U90 at 520-829-6068/67
  • ZAB at 505-856-4574

g. At launch:

  • TUS at 520-295-5730
  • U90 at 520-829-6068/67
  • ZAB at 505-856-4574

h. During flight as requested:

  • TUS at 520-295-5730
  • ZAB at 505-856-4574

1. At burst/cut-down/descent:

  • TUS at 520-295-5730
  • ZAB at 505-856-4574

J. At touchdown/landing:

  • TUS at 520-295-5730
  • ZAB at 505-856-4574

Currently only 10 locations have an active FAA Launch Site Operator License: California Spaceport, Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (Burns Flat, Oklahoma), Space Florida (Cape Canaveral Air Force Station), Houston Airport System (Ellington Airport, TX), Jacksonville Aviation Authority (Cecil Field, Florida), Midland International Airport (Midland International Airport, TX), Mojave Air & Space Port (Mojave Air & Space Port, CA), New Mexico Spaceflight Authority (Spaceport America), Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation (Pacific Spaceport Complex), Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (Wallops Flight Facility).

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  1. The balloon and the Pima BOS all have one thing in common. They are all full of hot air.

    At best this is crony capitalism. At worst. It is fraud.

  2. I’m sure they will enact a ‘free ride’ for free America where those of us paying the taxes will buy rides for those who would not afford one for themselves – hmmmm

  3. then stupid is as stupid does when it’s not your money… if it were there’s I think they would have planned things like location location location much better. I still question the real reason this ‘high altitude balloon launch facility is located where it is’ next to a defense contractor. How much will that bubble lift.

  4. Really funny, the ADS or the Huckster’s mouth piece didn’t mention that this permit was only good for a year and had to be renewed. But then I would not expect the ADS to tell truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…What a hell of a place to put a launch point, next to a medium size airport with active National Guard and commercial traffic and within shouting distance of DMAFB. But then stupid is as stupid does.

    • Only a moron would spend $75,000 for a hot air balloon ride and only a moron and his three stooges, Huckleberry and Bronson, Elias and Valadez, would invest (even using other people`s money) in such a preposterous “business” proposition. Given that laws were knowingly ignored to effectuate this waste of taxpayer money, it is time for the GOP, the Libertarians and the Green political parties in Pima County to come together to recall and replace Bronson and end this criminal enterprise.

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