The new round of spaceflight liability in Texas, New Mexico and California comes after a no change recommendation to the United States Congress of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act (CSLAA) - effectively removing the sunset clause of the federal act with respect to the informed consent principle. The principle underpins the CSLAA, which defines space tourists as "spaceflight participants" and states that they fly in an "environment of informed consent,"according to a recent report by Rod Coppinger at FlightGlobal. Coppinger provides an excellent underpinning as to why states are now on the move.*
Virginia's liability waiver law considered the CSLAA sunset provision and took a more conservative alternative of adding a July 1, 2013 sunset provision to the state's law. Virginia may now find the need to remove, extend, or allow to expire the state's liability waiver provision. The Florida law constains no such setset to mirror the former CSLAA sunset clause.
Commercial "spaceflight participants" advocates argue that the waivers may actually retard ticket purchase as would-be passengers shy away from waiver executions govered by such state laws. But commercial space launch competition among the states (especially those in the south and west) appear to be a variable driving legislation within the various legislatures this year and the two years past.