WP9 – LEGAL ASPECTS
Student Aerospace Challenge
(WP9 – Legal Aspects)
Sébastien DELMAS – Dimitri IMBERT – François NOCTURE – Jessica SALVATORI-RINALDI
Université Paris Saclay, Faculté Jean Monnet, Sceaux
Legal status of crew members and
Nowadays, space vehicles for sub-orbital
flights are engineered to be flown by men.
Thus, such as with commercial flights, in-
flight operations had to be monitored by
pilots. The legal status of those crew
members and of the passengers can be
found in the international civil aviation law,
mainly in twentieth century conventions.
On the contrary, space law ignores such a
distinction and defines the sole notion of
status adapted for
sub-orbital flights, we have to consider both
space and aeronautical laws in order to
distinguish two separate legal statuses for
crew members and for pilots.
Legal status of the VSH and licensing
The main issue is to define separately a
space vehicle and an aircraft. There is a
discrepancy between the two licensing
procedures and legal status. In our case, a
flight operated by the Dassault VSH, the
rules that prevail for an aircraft seem more
The implementation of a temporary
procedure of licensing appears to be the
favorite choice for the operators
procedure has many implications related to
the legal obligations and rights of the crew
members and the passengers
In a general way, the main obligation is to
inform both pilots and passengers (flight
participant) about the risks and the legal
status of the sub-orbital activity.
Responsibility and insurance
Today, if we consider the lack of an
legal status and the coexistence of two
legal corpuses (air and space laws) it
appears to be very difficult to identify the
appropriate insurance policy for a sub-
orbital space flight. It is mainly due to the
lack of experiences (only a few test flights
have been realized as of yet) and
therefore, the inability to precisely identify
the risks and thus, the primes.
The legal insurance framework is deeply
intricate with legal responsibility rules.
However, the legal responsibility status is
very different whether you consider the civil
aviation rules or the space activities rules.
In our study, we consider the civil aviation
status to be more relevant for an activity
such as a sub-orbital space flight.
Subsequently, the insurance market is
waiting for an adaptation of the civil
aviation rules, integrating spatial law rules.
The insurance sector will depend on the
implementation of a non-ambiguous
regulation to develop the space tourism