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Sen. Karnes Participates in Panel Discussion at ABA Meeting of the Forum on Air & Space Law

News | September 20, 2019

Former U.S. Senator and Kutak Rock of counsel David Karnes and attorney Jacob Tewes, both from the firm’s Omaha office, recently attended the 2019 ABA Annual Meeting of the Forum on Air & Space Law held in Seattle, Washington. 

Sen. Karnes participated in a panel discussion addressing regulatory frameworks for outer-space activities. Sen. Karnes, who was appointed a member of the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (“COMSTAC”) by Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in 2018, presented alongside Audrey Powers, Deputy General Counsel for Blue Origin, Ruth Pritchard-Kelly, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at OneWeb, and Michael Mendelson, partner at Wissing Miller. 

In his presentation, Sen. Karnes discussed the role of COMSTAC as an influential advisory committee which supports FAA efforts to enhance commercial spaceflight activities within the United States.  He drew attention to COMSTAC Findings and Recommendations as an effective communication channel between the FAA and the U.S. aerospace industry. Citing a recent recommendation which encouraged greater participation within proposed rulemaking activities, Sen. Karnes outlined how COMSTAC will remain an important guiding force prompting safe growth and innovation within the space industry.