Satellite Cos ask regulators to reconsider remote sensing proposal

Several remote sensing companies have come together to protest against the announcement of rewriting the current regulations for licensing of private remote sensing space systems by the U.S. Department of Commerce

Satellite Cos ask regulators to reconsider remote sensing proposal
Satellite Cos ask regulators to reconsider remote sensing proposal

Satellite Cos ask regulators to reconsider remote sensing proposal

Washington: Early this year in May, the U.S. Department of Commerce had published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that advocated for a complete rewriting of its current regulations for licensing of private remote sensing space systems that is being practiced since 2006.

The department had announced that it wants to create a two-category framework, where licensing terms are commensurate with the risks posed by the remote sensing space system to the national security. The department also wants to conduct a full inter-agency review and, “consider custom license conditions only when a proposed system is novel and is in the higher risk category.”

Now, several US-based satellite companies have come together to protest against the announcement, reported Via Satellite. On Monday, executives from Maxar Technologies, Planet, HawkEye 360, and Spire Global penned a joint response to the regulatory proposal, calling it “burdensome,” and claiming that, if enacted, would, “undermine U.S. competitiveness, impair U.S. innovation and deter investment in the U.S. commercial space industry.”

Planet Co-Founder Robbie Schingler, Planet’s Co-founder called the proposal, “a three-decade step backward.”

“This is cold water thrown onto a thriving ecosystem with rapidly changing space architectures, many new entrants and novel business models. We strongly urge regulators to take a strategic view and create a forward-leaning environment that opens up near-Earth space to efficient, secure and trusted commercial enterprise,” Schingler said in the joint statement.

Maxar CTO Dr. Walter Scott urged the Department to take a more narrowly tailored approach to industry regulation. “The U.S. commercial space industry needs smart regulations that promote innovation, encourage competitiveness and bolster national security, and unfortunately the Commerce Department’s draft regulations fall far short of these goals,” said Scott. “Maxar, Planet, HawkEye 360, BlackSky Global and Spire Global urge U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the National Space Council to intervene and ensure that new regulations allow American space firms to continue to lead in this dynamic global industry.”