Aerospace Assn Presses for Launch Liability Caps PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Buetow   
Friday, 04 January 2013 20:53

ARLINGTON, VA -- The Aerospace Industries Association today strongly urged President Obama to sign a launch indemnification renewal provision, calling it a significant step toward maintaining US competitiveness in the space launch field.

Launch indemnification establishes a cap on the amount of liability insurance US launch companies must carry. Foreign launchers also maintain caps, AIA says, and the US needs similar liability limits in order to ensure a level playing field. According to AIA, US taxpayers have never had to pay to cover any insurance claims. The US Congress recently approved a one-year extension of the existing limits.

In a statement issued by vice president of Space Systems Frank Slazer, AIA said, "Congress has taken a major step to help restore American commercial space launch competitiveness by extending existing space launch indemnification provisions by one year. Since 1986, launch indemnification has established a reasonable cap on how much liability insurance US launch companies must carry. The provision is similar to liability limits in place for foreign launchers and provides a more level playing field for American space launch providers.

"As space launch capabilities have been developed by other nations, our share of commercial launches has decreased significantly. Elimination of government indemnification would continue to drive launch business overseas, while simultaneously increasing the cost of US government launches. By contrast, this cap has never cost US taxpayers a dime.

"Passage of indemnification renewal is a very important step and we strongly urge President Obama to sign the provision into law. AIA looks forward to working with the new Congress to maintain longterm stability for US launch competitiveness by renewing indemnification for a longer period than the current one-year provision."




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