Date of this Version
At this moment, the European GNSS Supervisory Authority, the public agency-half of the Public-Private Partnership principally in charge of the Galileo system, is built up, and the first full-fledged operations on a global scale are currently envisaged by 2010 or shortly thereafter. Thus, one set of legal questions which now becomes of interest concerns those surrounding the possibility for third countries to host Galileo ground stations.
The present paper seeks to analyse these issues from the perspective of space law, in particular as regards issues of international responsibility and liability under the Outer Space Treaty and the Liability Convention, and how they would or might impact upon the specific context of operating ground stations for the Galileo satellite system.
In doing so, it will include a brief update as to the institutional structure being developed for Galileo, as well as a summary comparison with existing precedents of third states hosting ground stations for a satellite system principally operating outside of their control, such as the Land Earth Station Operator Agreements in the context of INMARSAT/Inmarsat and the bilateral agreements between the United States and third countries on the hosting of ground stations for the LANDSAT system.