Sonic Booms to Make Quiet Return

If you’re old enough, you might remember when it wasn’t rare to hear a sonic boom as a jet flew faster than the speed of sound. Supersonic flight was banned over the United States in 1973, but it’s making a quiet comeback.

NASA is working with industry to build supersonic aircraft with “low-boom” or “no boom” flight characteristics.

Now the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration have finalized an agreement to establish the Kansas Supersonic Transportation Corridor for use in testing non-military aircraft that fly faster than the speed of sound.

The corridor is entirely in federal airspace above Kansas, running the length of the state, just north of the Kansas-Oklahoma border.

The route will support sustained flight up to Mach 3, or three times the speed of sound.

Bob Brock, KDOT Director of Aviation, said the corridor also offers logistical advantages by being the first and only such commercial supersonic flight test route in the nation’s interior.