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SIA Press Releases

Satellite Legislation


Washington, D.C., August 6, 2018 – The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) today announced it was encouraged by Senate Committee approval of proposed legislation that would see streamlining of the rules governing approval for commercial satellite earth observation licensing, as well as launch and reentry licensing regulations.

On July 25th, Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, introduced the Space Frontier Act. The bill is designed to strengthen the commercial space sector and includes a number of provisions including reform of the regulatory framework for Earth observation operations.  On Wednesday, the proposed legislation was approved by the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

“SIA is pleased by the legislative proposal to overhaul the framework of regulations that currently govern the licensing process for commercial earth observation and can often lead to approval delays,” said Tom Stroup, President of SIA.  “Earth observation and remote sensing is one of the fastest growing segments of the commercial satellite industry.  Reforming the rules governing licensing will streamline the regulatory approval process, help enable earth observation innovation and ensure American leadership in commercial space and satellite remote sensing.

SIA applauds the steps already taken by the Department of Commerce to both decrease the average review time for remote sensing licenses from 210 days in 2015 to 91 days in 2017 and to seek industry input via the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Licensing Private Remote Sensing Space Systems.  SIA is further encouraged by specific proposals intended to decrease costly delays, including the introduction of reduced timelines and accountability to industry by the heads of those agencies or departments reviewing license applications. SIA also supports the modernization and streamlining of FAA commercial launch and reentry regulations to reduce the regulatory burden on industry.”

About The Satellite Industry Association

SIA is a U.S.-based trade association providing representation of the leading satellite operators, service providers, manufacturers, launch services providers, and ground equipment suppliers. For more than two decades, SIA has advocated on behalf of the U.S. satellite industry on policy, regulatory, and legislative issues affecting the satellite business. For more information, visit

SIA Executive Members include: AT&T Services, Inc.; The Boeing Company; EchoStar Corporation; Intelsat S.A.; Iridium Communications Inc.; Kratos Defense & Security Solutions; Ligado Networks; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Maxar Technologies; Northrop Grumman Corporation; ; SES Americom, Inc.; Space Exploration Technologies Corp.; Spire Global Inc.; and Viasat, Inc.

SIA Associate Members include: ABS US Corp.;  Analytical Graphics, Inc.; Artel, LLC; Blue Origin; DataPath Inc.; Eutelsat America Corp.; ExoAnalytic Solutions; Globecomm; Glowlink Communications Technology, Inc.; HawkEye 360; Hughes; Inmarsat, Inc.; Kymeta Corporation; L3 Technologies; O3b Limited; Panasonic Avionics Corporation; Planet; Telesat Canada; TrustComm, Inc.; Ultisat, Inc.; and XTAR, LLC.

SIA Affiliate Members include: The Aerospace Corporation; COMSAT; ; RUAG Space; and Wiley Rein LLP