ABA Up North

O Canada. Here's the lowdown on the ABA Forum on Air & Space Law annual meeting and conference: Aviation and Space: Are the Skies Brightening?, to convene Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2005 in lovely Montréal (at the Marriott Chateau Champlain). (A long way from last year on the beach in Santa Monica, California, eh?) This year's shindig is co-sponsored by McGill University's Institute of Air & Space Law.

As we know, the Forum on Air & Space Law primarily concerns itself with aviation practice. Let's just say the emphasis is on air above space. In fact, the Forum is not all air, but it's close.

Indeed, Montréal is home to the International Civil Aviation Organization. And recent aviation accidents and along with hot button air law issues will no doubt command much attention at this annual conference. No surprise there. However, the Forum's offerings do typically include a few choice items of particular interest to the space contingent. Thus, there will be a few token discussions in Montréal. But hey, a token can be a gem.

Like what, for example? Well specifically, this year the panel "Space Law and Spectrum Issues -- can you hear me now?" to be moderated by Prof. Joanne Gabrynowicz of the University of Mississippi, sounds super. Issues for discussion include: "Manned space travel - is the law up to speed? What lies ahead in civil space exploration? How is equitable use of radio frequency and orbital positions being assured? Demands on spectrum - Is there adequate supply for the expanding demand and impact of increased use by other applications?" Prof. Gabrynowitz's esteemed panel will include: Pamela Meredith co-chair of the Space Law Practice Group, at Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger, L.L.P; Michael Wholley, general counsel, NASA, Prof. Ram Jaku of the Institute of Air & Space Law, McGill University, and Dr. Veena Rawat acting president of the Communications Research Centre Canada.

Another panel on "Aerospace Manufacturing Subsidies and Restrictions: Too Little, Too much or Just Right?" will include a discussion on export controls on space equipment, with Franceska Schroeder of Fish & Richardson, PC.

In addition, a panel on leasing and financing aircraft and space equipment will include a look at how the Capetown Convention’s Aircraft and draft Space Assets Protocols differ.

Worth a trip to Canada? Why not? Canada is beautiful. If you go, give my regards to Joanne, Pamela, Franceska and the other brave space lawyers who show up. And remember. What happens in Montréal stays in Montréal.

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