New ICAO Secretary General

February 27, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From ICAO:

ICAO NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PIO 01/09
RAYMOND BENJAMIN APPOINTED NEW SECRETARY GENERAL OF ICAO
MONTREAL, 27 February 2009 – The Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has appointed Raymond Benjamin of France as the new Secretary General of the Organization for a three-year term, beginning 1 August 2009. He succeeds Dr. Taïeb Chérif, of Algeria, who has held the position since 2003. Mr. Benjamin’s 33-year career in civil aviation began in 1976 with the French Civil Aviation Administration. After a year with the Human Resources Division, he was given the responsibility for negotiating bilateral air transport agreements on behalf of the Administration.

In 1982, Mr. Benjamin joined the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) as an Air Transport Officer. A year later, he was appointed Deputy Secretary, a position he held for six years. In 1989, he came to ICAO as Chief of the Aviation Security Branch, where he advised on security policy matters and was involved in the development of a worldwide airport assessment and technical assistance programme for States. He also participated in the establishment of a network of aviation security training schools and standardized training packages (STPs). In addition, he served as Secretary of the ICAO Aviation Security Panel and the ICAO Group of Experts for the Detection of Plastic Explosives.

Following his career at ICAO, Mr. Benjamin became Executive Secretary of ECAC from 1994 to 2007, where he was responsible for policy advice and strategies in the areas of safety, security, and the environment. He was also responsible for integrating newer Member States into the European regulatory system and fostering relations with other regional organizations and ICAO.

Mr. Benjamin is currently Special Adviser to the Joint Aviation Authorities Training Organization (JAA/TO) and to the European Aviation Security Training Institute (EASTI).

The OGC forms a Spatial Law and Policy Committee

February 27, 2009 at 11:54 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From OGC:

The OGC forms a Spatial Law and Policy Committee
Release Date: Wed, 2009-02-25 00:00
Contact:

Sam Bacharach
Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption
Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc
tel: +1-703-352-3938
sbacharach@opengeospatial.org
Content:

February 25, 2009, Wayland, Massachusetts. The Board of Directors of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) has chartered a committee of the Board to specifically address the “spatial law and policy issues” which will influence development requirements of the Consortium’s technology process. The Spatial Law and Policy Committee (SLPC) will be chaired by OGC director and Executive Committee member, Kevin Pomfret, and will be organized under board leadership as an educational forum to include both select member and community participation.

In the past, legal issues associated with spatial data and technology were primarily a concern for lawyers that worked with or for the government. Now, both public sector and private sector users and providers of geospatial data and technologies face a wide range of legal issues associated with growth in consumer and business applications for spatial technology. Such applications include Earth browsers, satellite navigation devices in cars and PDA’s, location-based services associated with cell phones, business intelligence, social networking and satellite tracking of vehicles and equipment. All of these applications raise issues that involve intellectual property rights, liability, privacy, and national security. In many cases, the existing legal and policy framework is inadequate to provide governments, businesses and consumers clear guidance on these issues.

David Schell, OGC Chairman, said, “The OGC plays an expanding role in addressing society’s increasing dependence on geospatial information services. The advent of information interoperability in this technology domain raises the profile of geospatial information for policy makers, managers and scientists around the world. The Board’s creation at this time of a Spatial Law and Policy Committee reflects the increasing need of leaders to understand the challenges they face in this area, and the Board’s commitment to meeting their related information requirements.”

Kevin Pomfret added, “I am looking forward to working with the OGC and its members on these important issues. Due in large part to their collective vision and hard work, spatial technology and applications using spatial data are increasingly being utilized in a wide range of important activities. In order for this growth to continue, a solid legal and policy framework must exist. The OGC’s Spatial Law and Policy Committee can play a critical role in the development of such a framework.”

The SLPC, in particular, will provide an open forum for OGC members’ legal and policy advisors to discuss the unique legal and policy issues associated with spatial data and technology. The Committee will also work with relevant legal groups, such as the ABA, to raise awareness of these issues within the broader legal community. The SLPC will not provide legal advice to the OGC or its Members and will not take a position on any legal or policy matter on behalf of the OGC or its membership. It will rather focus on clarification of the legal and policy environment of the Consortium and work to ensure that Consortium standards reflect related best practices and the societal requirements that shape institutional uptake of interoperable geoprocessing.

Kevin Pomfret is a Richmond, Virginia based attorney well known for the work he has done on assorted legal issues associated with spatial data and technology, including intellectual property rights, licensing, liability, privacy and national security. Prior to entering the law, he served as a satellite imagery analyst with the U.S. government where he specialized in the development of imagery collection strategies to monitor critical arms control agreements. He also served in various U.S. government positions responsible for developing Intelligence community satellite imagery collections and exploitation requirements. Over the years he has written and spoken extensively on spatial law and technology.

H.R. 1201: Air Medical Safety Act

February 27, 2009 at 11:52 am | Posted in Aviation Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

H.R. 1201: Air Medical Safety Act was introduced on February 25, 2009 by Rep. John Salazar (D-CO). The text is not yet available.

H. Res. 188: Honoring the service, courage, and sacrifice of the Seawolves of Helicopter Attack Light Squadron Three

February 27, 2009 at 11:49 am | Posted in Aviation Law | 6 Comments

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

H. Res. 188: Honoring the service, courage, and sacrifice of the Seawolves of Helicopter Attack Light Squadron Three was introduced on February 25, 2009 by Rep. John Boozman (R-AR):

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. RES. 188

Honoring the service, courage, and sacrifice of the Seawolves of Helicopter Attack Light Squadron Three.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 25, 2009

Mr. BOOZMAN (for himself and Mr. BUYER) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services

RESOLUTION

Honoring the service, courage, and sacrifice of the Seawolves of Helicopter Attack Light Squadron Three.

Whereas Helicopter Attack Light Squadron Three (in this resolution referred to as `HAL-3′) began as detachments of Navy Helicopter Combat Support Squadron One (in this resolution referred to as `HC-1′), which began helicopter gunship operations on September 19, 1966, in support of Army, Navy brown-water, and special operations units in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam;

Whereas the detachments of HC-1 adopted the name `Seawolves’;

Whereas HAL-3 was officially established on April 1, 1967, in Vung Tau, South Vietnam and was the only Navy helicopter gunship squadron in the Vietnam War;

Whereas during the squadron’s five-year existence, the nearly 3,000 Seawolves of HAL-3 displayed extraordinary courage in support of United States military and political objectives in Vietnam;

Whereas 44 Seawolves of HAL-3 gave their lives in support of military operations in the Mekong Delta;

Whereas the extraordinary performance of the Seawolves of HAL-3 earned numerous unit citations, including six Presidential Unit Citations, 13 Navy Unit Commendations, two Meritorious Unit Commendation, one Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Vietnam Service Medal;

Whereas the valor of the Seawolves of HAL-3 earned five Navy Crosses, 31 Silver Stars, 2 Legion of Merit Medals, five Navy and Marine Corps Medals, 219 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 156 Purple Hearts, 101 Bronze Stars, 142 Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Crosses, 439 Navy Commendation Medals, 228 Navy achievement Medals, and more than 16,000 Air Medals, making it one of the most decorated Navy squadrons in the Vietnam War;

Whereas the maintenance and administrative personnel of HAL-3 contributed greatly to the successes of the nine HAL-3 detachments operating throughout the Mekong Delta by providing the detachments with superb maintenance support and logistics;

Whereas HAL-3 flew over 130,000 hours of combat and logistical support;

Whereas HAL-3 inflicted an estimated 8,700 casualties on enemy forces;

Whereas HAL-3 performed 1,530 medical evacuations;

Whereas HAL-3 delivered more than 37,000 passengers and more than 1,000,000 pounds of cargo; and

Whereas HAL-3 was decommissioned in March 1972 at Binh Thuy, South Vietnam, as part of the Vietnamization program, leaving behind it a combat and humanitarian record recognized as bringing great credit upon the United States Navy and its role in the Vietnam War: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the House of Representatives–

(1) honors the service, courage, and sacrifice of the Seawolves of HAL-3;

(2) honors the families of the Seawolves of HAL-3 for their support;

(3) expresses its condolences to the families and comrades of those killed in action; and

(4) recognizes HAL-3 as a unique squadron in the history of naval aviation.

AUSTRALIA appears to have been beaten to the punch as a potential base for a space tourism industry by wealthy interests in other countries

February 27, 2009 at 11:37 am | Posted in Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source: The Australian

Virgin Galactic chairman Richard Branson was touting Australia as a site for a Galactic spaceport as recently as last year.

But Sir Richard said that several countries were now bidding for the spaceports as the project moves closer to reality — and Australia was not among them.

“Because spaceship programs are not cheap to develop, I think we’re going to prioritise one or two of the countries that are paying quite considerable sums of money for us to go there first,” he said.

Sir Richard said Australia could conceivably participate in the bidding, but Galactic had not asked authorities here whether they were interested.

However, he said the competition was stiff.

“We’ve got three Middle Eastern countries competing for one spaceport in the Middle East,” he said. “Right now I think they’ve got deeper pockets than some other countries.”

Virgin Galactic has already had two “secret” flights of the Burt Rutan-designed White Knight Two mothership and expects to fly it publicly soon.

White Knight Two is the world’s biggest all-composite aircraft, boasting the wingspan of a Boeing 757, and is powered by four Pratt & Whitney PW308A engines.

An eight-person spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo (SS2), will be carried under the centre of the mothership’s wing and be released at 50,000ft.

It will then fire its hybrid rocket and climb 100km above the Earth to the internationally recognised boundary of space.

Sir Richard said the test flights had gone well.

He noted the rockets on SS2 were also performing well in tests and said it was expected to fly, although initially not into space, before the end of the year.

This would be followed by extensive tests to prove that the the concept was safe as it moved towards regulatory approval. Galactic is likely to face significant regulatory hurdles, but Sir Richard is confident it will overcome them, noting the company will do more flights during testing than NASA had completed in its history.

“It will be well and truly tried and tested before we actually take passengers up there,” he said.

“Being a commercial spaceship company, we can’t afford to lose any passengers. NASA actually loses about 3 per cent of all the passengers they take to space. I don’t think our passengers would accept that attrition rate.”

The venture also seems to be going to plan on the commercial side, with an estimated

$US45million ($69.5million) worth of tickets sold.

Galactic hopes to fly 500 people in the first year at $US200,000 a head, a number on a par with those taken up in the first 45 years of space travel.

“The program’s all going well,” Sir Richard said. “It’s an expensive program to be doing in this recession but, anyway, we’re committed and we’re pushing on with it.”

The billionaire said he still believed the program had enormous potential and he hoped that one day the public would be able to holiday on a space station orbiting the moon.

“I think this is the start, hopefully, of an enormously exciting program. First we’ll do sub-orbital flights and then we want to move on to orbital flights.

“One day, I hope that our engineers will be able to put commercial planes into orbit and take off from Sydney and land in New York within an hour, an hour and a half.

“I think one day it will happen — hopefully in our lifetimes.”

NASA Statement on FY10 Budget

February 27, 2009 at 11:34 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

From NASA:

RELEASE : 09-043

NASA Statement About Budget Overview for Fiscal Year 2010

WASHINGTON — Acting NASA Administrator Christopher J. Scolese said the following in response to the 2010 fiscal year budget overview for NASA released Feb. 26:

“The $18.7 billion budget proposal for 2010 is fiscally responsible and reflects the administration’s desire for a robust and innovative agency aligned with the president’s goals of advancing our nation’s scientific, educational, economic and security interests.

“This budget ensures NASA maintains its global leadership in Earth and space research, and it advances global climate change studies, funds a robust program of human and robotic space exploration, allows us to realize the full potential of the International Space Station, advances development of new space transportation systems, and renews our commitment to aeronautics.”

Why China Will Launch More of the World’s Satellites

February 26, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source: Time

By BRUCE CRUMLEY / PARIS

News this week that China has secured its first launch contract with a major Western satellite operator in more than a decade comes as a major boost for Beijing, which wants a bigger chunk of the world’s bustling satellite launch business. Paris-based communications satellite operator Eutelsat would not comment on a Feb. 23 Wall Street Journal report that the company had finalized a deal to launch a satellite aboard a Chinese Long March rocket sometime in 2010. If true, the launch will mark a major leap forward for China’s space program.

The last Western company to launch a satellite in China was U.S. firm Lockheed Martin way back in 1998. Since then, the U.S. has tightened its regulations on the exports of arms, defense technologies, and even on technologies that can be adapted to military ends. That prevents American companies from using China’s launch capabilities. The regulations even apply to U.S. trading partners that build satellites with U.S.-made components. Beijing has therefore had to do with launches for smaller companies from Asia, Africa, and South America. 

The reported new deal is possible because several European aerospace groups, including French firm Thales, which builds satellites for Eutelsat, can now assemble satellites free of American components. Doing so allows operators to sidestep the U.S. rules and deal with China. “The restrictions have placed China outside the commercial launch sector dominated by American, European, and Russian companies — meaning China has to offer services at far lower prices if it wants to become a major player,” says Jeff Foust, senior analyst at U.S. technology and telecommunications consulting firm Futron. “China has that ambition, and doing more business with companies wanting to put satellites without U.S. components in space is one way towards that.”

Industry estimates place the total world satellite industry — from construction to transmission services — at $92 billion a year. Launch activity makes up just $3.2 billion of that. Bertrand Laport, an equities analyst and technology specialist for Fortis in Paris, says the price of launching a satellite in the U.S., Europe, or Russia runs around $80 million. China, Laport says, can put a satellite into orbit for around half that cost — and offers additional services such as ground transportation and handling, and some technological additions that clients usually pay extra for.

“The other big advantage China has is that launch schedules of western groups are typically booked for one to two years in advance, while China’s schedule remains relatively flexible,” Laport notes of the 50 commercial launches each year. “That additional capacity, relatively good technology quality, and reliable launch record will make China an option companies will probably consider more as time goes by.”

That might end up loosening Washington’s technology exchange restrictions. Why? If European companies begin to source non-U.S. satellite parts because it allows them to launch the end product more cheaply, American companies are likely to put pressure on the U.S. government to relax its rules. The trend is already underway: since tighter rules were introduced in 1998, U.S. market share of satellite manufacturing has plunged from 80% to 41%. “If non-American groups are constructing those satellites for clients ready to turn to China for cheaper launches, China will be handling the same technology despite a U.S. ban,” Laport says of the logic behind a revision. “They’d be better off changing the rules to apply to only to truly sensitive military and defense technologies.”

Not everyone sees it that way. Addressing the House of Representatives Science and Technology Full Committee Wednesday, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher stressed that any rule revisions must ensure “nations who proliferate weapons of mass destruction and rogue nations are barred from receiving our high tech systems.”

Chief among “such places is the Peoples Republic of China,” Rohrabacher continued, issuing a warning against firms seeking to side-step restrictions in order to do business with Beijing. “Eutelsat sells tens of millions of dollars worth of satellite services to the U.S. Government through DISA [Defense Information Systems Agency] contracts. Clearly, this is the beginning of a game of chicken between Eutelsat and the Obama administration.”

But Foust notes that many U.S. companies and government departments rely on commercial satellite operators like Eutelsat for their own communications systems — including the Pentagon. “There’s more to lose than to gain by trying to turn a low-profile policy issue in Congress into a huge fight,” Foust says. “It’s wiser to opt for policy reform that will allow everyone to work more efficiently, but still protect strategic interests.” If that happens, expect more launch work for China.

NASA in the FY10 Budget

February 26, 2009 at 11:49 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Thw White House has released its proposed FY10 Budget on the Office of Management and Budget website. It includes a two page summary of NASA’s funding in the budget. Including these “Funding Highlights”:

Funding Highlights:
• Provides $18.7 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Combined with the $1 billion provided to the agency in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, this represents a total increase of more than $2.4 billion over the 2008 level.
• Funds a program of space-based research that supports the Administration’s commitment to deploy a global climate change research and monitoring system.
• Funds a robust program of space exploration involving humans and robots. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will return humans to the Moon while also supporting a vigorous program of robotic exploration of the solar system and universe.
• Funds the safe flight of the Space Shuttle through the vehicle’s retirement at the end of 2010. An additional flight will be conducted if it can be completed safely before the end of 2010.
• Funds the development of new space flight systems for carrying American crews and supplies to space.
• Funds continued use of the International Space Station to support the agency and other Federal, commercial, and academic research and technology testing needs.
• Funds aeronautics research to address aviation safety, air traffic control, noise and emissions reduction, and fuel efficiency.

B-400901, Trident World Systems, Inc., February 23, 2009

February 26, 2009 at 11:36 am | Posted in Aviation Law | 2 Comments

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The GAO has posted an aerospace related bid protest decision, B-400901, Trident World Systems, Inc., February 23, 2009:

Decision

Matter of: Trident World Systems, Inc.

File: B-400901

Date: February 23, 2009

Richard D. Adams, Trident World Systems, Inc., for the protester.
MAJ Walter R. Duke and Polly H. Chatham, Esq., Department of the Army, for the agency.
Linda C. Glass, Esq., and Ralph O. White, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, GAO, participated in the preparation of the decision.

DIGEST

Protest that solicitation requirement for Aerial Remotely Piloted Vehicle Target System including scoring hardware and services is unduly restrictive is denied where record established that the requirements were reasonably designed to ensure that the agency’s actual needs would be met, and the protester failed to establish either that it is incapable of meeting specifications or is otherwise competitively harmed by them.

DECISION

Trident World Systems, Inc. (TWS) of Huntsville, Alabama, protests the terms of request for proposals (RFP) No. W31P4Q-08-R-0311, issued by the Department of the Army for Aerial Remotely Piloted Vehicle Target System (RPVT) to include scoring hardware and services. TWS contends the specifications are restrictive and requests that the requirement for the scoring hardware and services be broken out for a separate award.

We deny the protest.

The RFP was issued as a small business set-aside on August 6, 2008 and contemplated the award of a contract with fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost reimbursable line items for a base period with four 1-year options. The RPVT requirement includes support services, related support equipment, mission payload system devices and training to be provided by the contractor in support of demonstrations, simulation and live fire training and testing at designated locations, installations, and ranges worldwide. RFP at 5. The RFP also contained a requirement for scoring hardware and services for the RPVT the purpose of which is to provide accurate bullet counting and miss distance data for bullets/missile engagements on targets. RFP at 17. The RFP specifically listed three qualified scoring systems vendors but also stated that other scoring sources may exist and would be considered. RFP App. E.

The initial closing date for receipt of proposals was September 19, 2008. The agency amended the RFP several times to respond to questions and concerns raised by the protester and other vendors and subsequently extended the closing date on several occasions. The final amended closing date was December 2, 2008. According to the agency, several timely proposals were received, including a proposal from the protester.

The protester initially filed an agency-level protest with the contracting activity on October 14, 2008. In that protest, TWS expressed concerns about the requirement for the scoring systems and requested that this requirement be removed from the RFP. TWS also maintained that the information provided by the agency concerning the government furnished equipment (GFE) list was inadequate and asked for an extension of 30 days to submit proposals. However, prior to receiving a response from the contracting activity, TWS filed a protest with agency headquarters on November 24, 2008, In that protest, TWS raised the same issues as in its initial protest and additionally argued that certain revisions to the statement of work (SOW) should be removed from the RFP, that there should be a phase-in period, and that an operational ready date milestone should be established relative to the phase-in period. Prior to receiving a response from the agency, TWS filed this protest with our Office on November 28, 2008 and raised the same issues.

In preparing a solicitation, a contracting agency must specify its needs and solicit offers in a manner designed to obtain full and open competition and may include restrictive provisions or conditions only to the extent that they are necessary to satisfy the agency’s needs. 10 U.S.C. sect. 2305(a)(1) (2000). A contracting agency has the discretion to determine its needs and the best method to accommodate them. Because any specification or solicitation requirement is restrictive in the sense that something is required of offerors, we only consider protests of restrictions that have an effect on competition, such as where a restriction precludes a firm from competing or works to its disadvantage in a competition. A.T. Kearney, Inc.,
B-225708, May 7, 1987, 87-1 CPD para. 490 at 3.

As a preliminary matter, we note that TWS’ contentions regarding agency bias, are woven into all its challenges. In essence, the protester asserts that contracting officials are deliberately altering specifications and requirements to benefit the incumbent contractor, and to discourage prospective offerors. In our view, government officials are presumed to act in good faith and a protester’s claim that contracting officials were motivated by bias or bad faith must be supported by convincing proof; our Office will not attribute unfair or prejudicial motives to procurement officials on the basis of inference or supposition. Shinwa Elecs., B-290603 et al., Sept. 3, 2002, 2002 CPD para. 154 at 5 n.6. Here, TWS has not provided convincing proof to support these allegations.

In its protest and subsequent submissions, TWS primarily challenges the agency’s decision to include the scoring system requirement with the purchase of the RPVT. TWS does not argue that this requirement makes it impossible for TWS to compete but rather contends that complying is difficult and costly. While TWS ultimately concedes that there is no advantage to the government in separating the scoring services from the RPVT, it contends that the government should conduct the testing to determine the qualifications of competing scoring systems. In this regard, TWS argues that procuring the scoring system along with the RPVT–and placing the responsibility for selecting the scoring system on the offerors–puts the acquisition of at least one of these two systems at risk. TWS maintains that the scoring systems should be procured separately because procuring them simultaneously places too much responsibility on the small business contractor for verifying the accuracy and reliability of the scoring system.

Where a protester challenges a specification as unduly restrictive, the procuring agency has the burden of showing that the specification is reasonably necessary to meet its needs; we will review the agency’s explanation to determine if its is reasonable, that is, whether it can withstand logical scrutiny. Chadwick-Helmuth Co., Inc., B-279621.2, Aug. 17, 1998, 98-2 CPD para. 44 at 3.

As an initial matter, we think TWS has failed to show that the decision to include the scoring system requirement in this procurement does not represent the agency’s needs. In any event, the agency here acknowledges that in the past it procured the scoring system under a separate contract, but explains that since the requirement for scoring services has been vastly reduced, the previous method of issuing two contracts to support the training mission was excessively expensive and cumbersome to the government. Agency Report (AR), Tab E, Technical Response at 2. The agency also explains that incorporating the scoring system requirement into the larger RPVT contract will permit a more efficient use of government resources, enable the target services provider to select the most appropriate scoring system, and provide the government a single point of contract for targetry missions. Id. The agency notes that while three qualified scoring system vendors were identified in the RFP, any other scoring systems proposed would be considered by the government if they meet the RFP requirements. Given these facts, and the arguments raised, we conclude the agency has reasonably supported its determination to procure all its target mission requirements under one solicitation.[1]

To the extent the protester argues that only the incumbent knows which “qualified” scoring systems will meet the RFP specifications, there is no requirement that an agency equalize or discount an advantage gained through incumbency, provided that it did not result from preferential treatment or other unfair action by the government. Navarro Research and Eng’g, Inc., B-299981, B-299981.3, Sept. 28, 2007, 2007 CPD para. 195 at 4. Neither preferential treatment nor other unfair action is evident here, especially since the agency identified three potential sources for the scoring system.

TWS has also challenged several other specifications. We have reviewed them and find that the agency has reasonably supported its determination of its minimum needs. For example, TWS objects to the deletion of the sector location requirement from the scoring hardware specification. The agency reports that the removal of this requirement enables more scoring vendors to provide solutions to the requirement and may increase the number of scoring system options that would meet the requirement. TWS also objects to the agency’s position that it expects the awardee to be “mission capable” on the date of contract award, which according to TWS contradicts other portions of the RFP which indicate that there would be a phase-in period.

The record shows that the agency in response to questions, has repeatedly advised offerors that for planning purposes the operational ready date should be considered the date of contract award and that there will be a phase-in period only in the event the contract is awarded while an incumbent is still performing target missions under a previous contract. While the protester objects to this requirement and desires a phase-in period, the agency has specifically stated that training missions are required to be performed by the incoming contractor on the first day of a new contract. We have no basis to conclude that this requirement is unreasonable or does not meet the agency’s need for continuity in its target training mission.

Finally, we note that the agency, in several instances, amended the RFP to clarify or change certain specifications. The agency also extended the original closing date on several occasions from September 19 to the final date of December 2. From this record, we believe the protester had ample opportunity to submit a responsive proposal. While the protester expresses disagreement with the agency’s determination of its needs, the protester has not established that the agency’s requirements were unreasonably stated.

The protest is denied.

Gary L. Kepplinger
General Counsel

ISU Symposium Materials Posted

February 26, 2009 at 10:35 am | Posted in Library, Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

Materials from the International Space University’s recent symposium Space for a Safe and Secure World have been posted online.

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