Friday, December 14, 2018

FCC Says No to AMSAT Petition … 14 Years Later

Back in 2004, the FCC adopted rules for reducing orbital debris from communication satellites. AMSAT filed a Petition for Reconsideration, asking the Commission to exempt amateur radio satellites from the requirements, due to the added costs that would be incurred in making ham satellites compliant. 
There was no response … until November, 2018, when the FCC issued revisions to the rules for the first time since their adoption 14 years prior. The Commission dismissed AMSAT's appeal, noting that many amateur satellites launched since 2004 "have successfully satisfied our orbital debris mitigation requirements," according to the ARRL Letter, adding "It appears that  ... the main contributor to costs for amateur and similar … missions has to do with the availability of launches to appropriate orbits."