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ABA – Space Law: Current an Future Issues – International Telecommunications Controls: Space Traffic Management

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The fifth panel of the day was titled International Telecommunications Controls: Space Traffic Management. It was chaired by Del Smith and included Pamela Meredith, Joseph Pelton, and Patrick Rayerman.

Meredith’s comments were centered on issues of regulation of suborbital flights. She discussed specifically the difference between aircraft and suborbital spacecraft regulations.

Pelton focused his comments on the variety of technologies that sit in nebulous regulatory regimes, such as high altitude platforms. He argued that the “protozone” (21KM-100KM) was an area where there was great potential for development of commercial activities. He noted that there are a number of international issues that are triggered by near space technologies and suborbital technologies, but there was a lack of regulatory framework. He advocated for the development of the law through commercial standards

Rayermann discussed how law developed before the technology developed. He stated that the result is that the law has not been able to develop to meet the needs of the current technology. He then noted that the were still numerous questions as to the commercial uses of space beyond the example of telecommunications satellites. He stated that since technology was in its nascent stages, it is reasonable to think that law is n its nascent stages as well.