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Isle of Man represented at Space tourism event

Friday, 15 February 2013

The International Institute of Space Commerce (IISC), in conjunction with AON and the Isle of Man Department of Economic Development, held a Space tourism workshop in London recently, with a special focus on insurance.

The workshop began with an opening address by Alex Downie OBE MLC, who has political responsibility for the Space sector in the Department of Economic Development and a Director of the International Institute of Space Commerce. In his speech, Mr Downie highlighted the importance of Space tourism as an overall catalyst for Space commerce. Mr Downie commented on the importance of the event to the Isle of Man. He said:

'There are many facets to the Space industry and the Isle of Man is in a fortunate position to be involved in several of these. Opportunities arising from insurance associated with Space tourism activity are something that the Island is well placed to exploit, given its status as a leading location for insurance business, especially captive insurance.'

Two panel discussions formed the main part of the event. The first panel, moderated by Dr Angie Bukley, Dean of the International Space University (ISU), provided a comprehensive overview of the risks arising from Space tourism activities.

The second panel, moderated by Tim Wakeman, AON plc, covered solutions in terms of liability regime, licensing policy and insurance mechanisms. Dr Bukley commented:

'I’ve been fascinated by watching the exciting developments surrounding the Space tourism industry. Ever since chairing an ISU team project on Space tourism in 2000, it has held my interest and it’s been fascinating to see the progress and to play an active role in addressing the challenges associated with Space tourism as a business endeavour.'

The conclusions of the workshop will be exploited to generate a pool of recommendations to encourage policymakers and stakeholders in the aerospace industry, as well as the general public, to think critically about the potential role of Space tourism in generating added value and enhancing the global credibility of Space commerce.

The Space tourism debate continues as both interest and concern grows at a worldwide level. It offers not only entertainment, but other benefits such as access to alternative airspace routes which offer shorter flying times and opportunities for technology creation and innovation.

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