Laura Montgomery teaches space law at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. In her private practice she specializes in regulatory space law, with an emphasis on commercial space transportation and the Outer Space Treaties. She provides expert opinion on the Commercial Space Launch Act, its implementing regulations governing the launch of launch vehicles, the reentry of reentry vehicles, the operation of launch and reentry sites, and the financial responsibility and liability requirements of those regulations. She has several times testified to the Space Subcommittees of the House and Senate on matters of regulation and international obligation. She writes and edits the space law blog GroundBasedSpaceMatters.com.
Ms. Montgomery spent over two decades with the Federal Aviation Administration. She served as the manager of the Space Law Branch in the FAA’s Office of the Chief Counsel. Before that, she was the FAA’s Senior Attorney for Commercial Space Transportation. As the FAA’s space lawyer, she supported the Office of Commercial Space Transportation in its authorization and regulation of launch, reentry, and the operation of launch and reentry sites. Her work at the FAA included rulemakings, legal interpretations, legislative proposals, identification of matters for enforcement action, financial responsibility questions, and legal review of licensing and permitting evaluations. She addressed a wide range of issues, from amateur rockets, to sea launch, to space balloons.
Highlights from Ms. Montgomery’s time at the FAA include her representation of the FAA at the United Nation’s legal subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, her service as chair to an inter-agency working group on space property rights at the request of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House, and testimony to Congress on the FAA’s interpretation of the Commercial Space Launch Act.
She received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and her undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Virginia.