Georgia Senate Passes Spaceflight Limited Liability Measure

The Georgia Senate has passed a limited liability law for human spaceflight as part of an effort to establish a spaceport in Camden County.

Other states seeking to get in on the growing commercial space industry have adopted legislation requiring plaintiffs to prove “gross negligence” in order to collect damages, a tougher standard than “ordinary negligence,” and Georgia should do the same in order to compete for space business, said Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, the bill’s chief sponsor….

The proposed Spaceport Camden could create more than 2,000 jobs in an economically stressed part of Georgia, while at the same time serving as a catalyst for companies involved in the commercial space industry in metro Atlanta.

An environmental impact study spearheaded by the Federal Aviation Administration that began late in 2015 is due to produce a draft report by the end of this year….

Also this week, a committee in the Georgia House of Representatives passed an identical bill offering liability protection for spaceport activities.

Meanwhile, the FAA is moving ahead with an assessment of the proposed coastal spaceport.

During an update of the ongoing study released this week, Stacey Zee, a FAA environmental specialist explained the status of the ongoing work.

“The team has been working hard over the past few months to develop the draft EIS and write reports based on the cultural resource surveys and wetland surveys that we completed in the fall,” Zee said.

A survey has been conducted to determine if there are any jurisdictional wetlands on the site for the proposed spaceport. The Army Corps of Engineers has been tasked with reviewing and verifying the information, she said.

The team will also begin consultations with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to discuss endangered species and potential impacts from rocket launches from the site.

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