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Commercial Spaceports: A New Frontier of Infrastructure Law

March 2020

Citation: 50 ELR 10192

Issue: 3

Author: Kathryn Kusske Floyd and Tyler G. Welti

While a “spaceport” may sound like a concept mostly confined to science fiction, several commercial spaceports are in operation in the United States and abroad, and more are being developed. As the name suggests, spaceports, or commercial space launch sites, are used to conduct launch and reentry operations to and from space, such as launching satellites into orbit or sending space tourists to the edge of space and back. Focusing on the development and licensing of these sites, this Comment explains the rapidly growing commercial space industry, summarizes the Federal Aviation Administration’s commercial space licensing regime, and identifies several considerations associated with the new frontier of commercial space transportation infrastructure projects.

Kathryn Kusske Floyd and Tyler G. Welti are infrastructure lawyers advising commercial space developers as part of Venable LLP’s commercial space legal and policy practice.

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