February 23, 2016 8:30 AM
State Representative Jason Spencer (R-180) announced on Monday that the Commercial Spaceflight Federation has expressed support for the passage of the Georgia Spaceflight Act (HB 734), sponsored by Rep. Spencer.
Spencer believes that the legislation will enhance Georgia’s recruiting of the commercial space industry to make the state competitive. Industry leaders are in need of another east coast launch site, and Spencer stated that the site in Camden County, GA is the last place on the east coast where this can occur.
HB 734 defines procedures for spaceflight activity, as well as limits a willing space flight participant who has given consent’s ability to sue for damages related to the spaceflight activities. The bill does not protect against injuries suffered by non-consenting third parties, except for noise and nuisance protections. It is modeled after the Texas law, Limited Liability for Space Flight Activities, but it introduces an industry standard that is used in all “space friendly” states.
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is an industry group made up of over 70 businesses and organizations as members that is working to make commercial human spaceflight a reality. Eric W. Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, wrote of HB 734 in a letter to the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Wendell Willard:
“As the commercial space industry continues to grow from its current base of $330 Billion per year, Georgia has an opportunity to position itself as an attractive hub for the industry’s future business activities and operations, bringing significant economic and inspirational benefits to the citizens of Georgia. With this growth there is need for additional launch capacity on the East Coast of the United States that is not a government-centric launch site, and southeast Georgia is probably the last and best place to site such an installation.
“Already Georgia has a number of attributes that will make it fertile ground for future commercial space activities including an existing robust aerospace industry, access to a talented pool of Georgia Tech, Georgia, Columbus State and other graduating engineers, as well as launch and manufacturing at the future Spaceport Camden. With the FAA-led Environmental Impact Study (EIS) wrapping up in the next few months, having the Georgia Spaceflight Act in place as law will be a critical signal to industry that Georgia wants the jobs, innovation economy, and inspirational aspirations that come with the commercial space industry.”
You can find more information on the Georgia Spaceflight Act here.