- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
One of the final actions of Congress in 2009 was extension of government indemnification of U.S. commercial space launches for another three years. Since 2007, AIA has made numerous visits to Capitol Hill on this issue and worked closely with the FAA, NASA and other space associations.
In 2008, only six of the 28 worldwide commercial launches were conducted by U.S. companies. Elimination of government indemnification would have driven even more launch business overseas.
Indemnification, which was due to expire on Dec. 31, 2009, helps protect U.S. commercial launch services providers against catastrophic third-party liability claims resulting from FAA-licensed launch activities.
Because launch indemnification is a complex issue burdened with numerous misconceptions, AIA's main effort was educating stakeholders. No funds are committed in advance and congressional approval is required for any payment.
Since launch manifests can extend out for several years, indemnification maintains continuity in the business environment and strengthens U.S. international competitiveness. The indemnification regime provides a level playing field in a global space launch market where all other space-faring nations provide some form of government indemnification for their commercial launches.
AIA Source: andrew.barber[at]aia-aerospace.org