Legal and Policy Aspects
Edited by Jan Wouters, Philip De Man and Rik Hansen
Chapter 9: Regulatory choices for sub-orbital flights carrying humans: elements for consideration
This chapter provides elements for consideration regarding the regulation of sub-orbital flights carrying humans, in particular those carried out for commercial purposes. The authors argue that the formulation or application of law concerning this issue should be anticipated by establishing clarity in respect of two questions. First, what needs to be achieved? Second, how can this best be achieved? To answer those questions, the chapter proposes elements for discussion rather than conclusive answers. The authors argue that clarity over the purposes for regulation plays as much a role as the experience gained from existing regimes and precision in definitions and semantics. They recall characteristics of the two systems that are considered apparent ‘candidate regimes’ for regulating commercial suborbital flights. Finally, they present two examples of domestic regulatory approaches that deal with different subjects and yet reveal certain commonalities. Keywords: commercial sub-orbital flight; air law; aircraft; space object; US federal law; French law
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