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Jean-Bruno Marciacq

This chapter discusses the role of the European Aviation Safety Agency, established in 2002 pursuant to a provision in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in regulating sub-orbital and orbital aircraft (SOA) airworthiness, their crew, operations, insertion into the traffic and utilisation of aerodromes. In particular, this chapter intends to update the approach initially proposed at the 3rd International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety conference and complemented at the 61st International Astronautical Congress. The chapter seeks to incorporate sub-orbital and orbital aircraft into the EU regulatory system and to establish a consistent regulatory framework allowing safe and environmentally controlled operations of SOA in Europe. In addition to this update, a discussion on why SOA are indeed aircraft and not rockets is attached as an appendix to the chapter. Keywords: sub-orbital and orbital aircraft; European Union; European Aviation Safety Agency; aircraft definition