IAF Constitution and Bylaws

The IAF is a non-profit non-governmental organization set up in 1951 under French law. Its structure is laid out in the IAF Constitution, which defines the IAF as a federation of member organizations where decisions are made by a General Assembly.

CHAPTER I - INTRODUCTORY REGULATIONS

Article 1 - Name and Domicile

1.1 Name and logo

he name of this association is the International Astronautical Federation. The Federation is an international non-governmental non-profit organization. The International Astronautical Federation may use the acronym IAF and logo in all official communications.

1.2 Domicile

The legal domicile of the Federation and its headquarters are located in Paris (France). In its activities, the Federation shall observe the French law on Associations of 1901.

1.3 Fiscal Year

The fiscal year shall be the calendar year.

Article 2 - Purposes

2.1 General

Recognizing that space activities have provided and will continue to provide significant benefits to humanity; and
Recognizing that there is a continuing need to foster and make apparent the benefits of such activities, the International Astronautical Federation founded in 1951 exists to: foster space research, development and application of space activities for peaceful purposes and for the enlightenment, enrichment and benefit of all society, and strives to make apparent to society-at-large the enabling benefits of space activities to the quality of life. Towards these ends, the International Astronautical Federation, with Membership drawn from national and international institutions, industry, service providers, academia, professional societies and other organizations related to space, aims to be recognized and sought out as the leading worldwide, independent organization which, in cooperation with other entities, develops and disseminates information, supports advances in space activities and actively promotes international cooperation in the field of space.

2.2 Particular

Specifically, the International Astronautical Federation shall:

a. Establish, maintain and further develop a global network for the benefit of its Members;
b. Organize international astronautical congresses, global conferences, fora, symposia, workshops, virtual events, training and educational programmes and other events;
c. Assist its Members to promote their space activities and products;
d. Produce publications, briefs and position papers on space related matters;
e. Cooperate and advise with appropriate international and national institutions, universities, commercial enterprises, service providers and individual experts on all aspects related to space activities;
f. Participate in public or private calls for actions, tenders, proposals, and other activities, as appropriate for the pursuit of its purposes;
g. Use the various media to stimulate public interest in and support for the development of all aspects of space activities;
h. Invite non-space sectors representatives to events, in particular in fields that benefit or could benefit of space downstream applications;
i. Encourage, as appropriate, the development of entities related to space activities;
j. Recognize individuals and IAF Members for outstanding performance or achievements;
k. Encourage the participation of students and young professionals in all activities of the Federation;
l. Foster the inclusion of Emerging and Developing Space nations in its activities and connect them to the global space community;
m. Promote and facilitate diversity, including the “3G” (Gender, Geography and Generation) Diversity principle within the Federation and the space community;
n. Generally, take all necessary actions to attain the objectives of the Federation.

Article 3 - Organs and Powers of Representation

3.1 Organs

The organs of the International Astronautical Federation pursuant to this Constitution are:

a. The General Assembly;
b. The Bureau;
c. The Executive Secretariat;
d. The Committees.

3.2 Powers of Representation

The IAF is legally and otherwise represented by the President. In accordance with their competences, each of the Vice Presidents and the Executive Director shall have the authority to sign documents and letters on behalf of the Federation with the written authorization of the President.

CHAPTER II – MEMBERSHIP

Article 4 - Admission

4.1 Eligibility

The International Astronautical Federation is an association of those organizations and institutions, duly established under national laws or international agreements, which share the purposes set forth in Article 2 and were elected in accordance with this Constitution.

4.2 Categories of Members

The main categories of IAF Members for the calculation of Membership dues are the following:

a. Space Agencies and Space Offices;
b. Space Industry;
c. Associations and Professional Societies;
d. Research and Development Organisations;
e. Universities and Space Museums;
and such other categories that fulfil the purposes of the Federation and may be deemed from time to time eligible for membership by the General Assembly.

4.3 Election of new Members

New Members of the Federation shall be elected by the General Assembly at its plenary meeting. Membership shall take full effect immediately after election by the General Assembly. However, the payment of Membership fees will be due at the beginning of the fiscal year following election. Elected Members of the Federation shall retain their full autonomy.

4.4 Rights and duties of Membership

a. A Member of the Federation shall be entitled to participate in all its activities, to receive its services, to be represented at plenary meetings of the General Assembly, to present opinions and intervene in discussions, to take part in endeavors to reach decisions by general agreement or by voting on any matter concerning activities of the Federation as detailed in Article 2.2 of this Constitution.
b. Members shall pay annual dues at the rates recommended by the Bureau and approved by the General Assembly. Payment shall be effected after receipt of invoice within the time limit laid down in the Bylaws.
c. Only those Members who have fully paid up their dues shall be entitled to exercise their voting rights (‘voting Members’). Members whose dues are not fully paid up remain ‘non-voting Members’ until such time as their dues are fully paid. Consequences of continued failure to pay the Membership dues are detailed under Article 5.1.b of this Constitution.

4.5 Application

a. An applicant for admission to the Federation shall submit to the Executive Director of the Federation copies of its basic documents or other documentation of its qualifications for Membership in accordance with this Article. The validity of such documentation shall be verified by the General Counsel and considered by the Bureau.
b. The Bureau shall determine the applicant’s eligibility for Membership and shall report its recommendation to the next plenary meeting of the General Assembly.

4.6 Registration of points of contact and amendments to basic documents

a. Each Member shall register and keep current with the Executive Director of Federation information regarding its head and its administrative and financial points of contact.
b. Whenever a Member adopts substantive amendments to its basic documents or changes of its head and/or points of contact, it shall immediately inform and submit copies of these documents as amended to the Executive Director of the Federation.

4.7 Continuing observance of Membership conditions

To be in good standing, Members are required to observe the Constitution and Bylaws of the International Astronautical Federation at all times.

Whenever the aims and activities of any Member, or its internal Membership, are at issue, such a Member shall, at the request of the Bureau, provide evidence of its continuing observance of Membership conditions. If such evidence is not considered satisfactory, the Bureau may recommend to the General Assembly a temporary suspension of the rights of such a Member.

4.8 Observers

a. Representatives of national as well as international organizations, societies, bodies and institutions interested in the development of space activities, which are not Members of the Federation, may be invited to participate as observers in activities of the Federation.
b. Invitations for observer status shall be extended by the Bureau of the Federation. If observers are invited to attend a plenary meeting of the General Assembly, their observer status shall be confirmed by the Assembly at the beginning of the meeting.
c. . Upon the recommendation of the Bureau, the General Assembly may grant a permanent observer status to such organizations or other bodies whose cooperation will have been considered as substantive for the development and furtherance of space activities and the Federation.

Article 5 – Termination of Membership

5.1 Termination

a. Upon the recommendation of the Bureau, the General Assembly at its plenary meeting may decide upon the termination of Membership of any Member when a serious reason requires such an action.
b. The Bureau shall make such recommendation if a Member has not paid its dues for more than two years or has otherwise grossly failed to conform to the provisions of this Constitution.
c. In any case, the rights of the Member will be suspended by the Bureau until the decision of the General Assembly is taken. The Executive Director of the Federation shall notify the Member concerned of the General Assembly’s decision.

5.2 Withdrawal from membership

a. All Members of the Federation shall have the right of withdrawal from the Federation.
b. Any Member may do so by a letter submitted to the Executive Director of the Federation in due time before the plenary meeting of the General Assembly, which will take note of it. However, any withdrawing Member shall remain obliged to remit all its dues covering the period to the end of the year of its withdrawal.

5.3 Changes in category of Members

Upon the recommendation of the Bureau, the General Assembly at its plenary meeting may decide the appropriate change in the Membership category, as referred to in Article 4.2., of any Member.

CHAPTER III – GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Article 6 – Composition and Operation

6.1 Member delegates

The supreme governing body of the Federation shall be the General Assembly. It shall be composed of delegates representing each Member of the Federation.

6.2 Powers and functions

The General Assembly shall have the following powers and functions:

a. To examine and approve the credentials of the delegates.
b. To approve and modify the Agenda of its plenary meetings proposed by the Bureau.
c. To elect the new Members of the Federation.
d. To suspend temporarily the rights of Members as provided in Articles 4.7 and 5.1(c), to terminate Membership as provided in Article 5.1.a, to take note of the withdrawal from Membership as provided in Article 5.2, and to decide the changes of category of Members according to Article 5.3.
e. To approve the annual and special reports, statements, accounts, estimates of the budget and the disbursement of funds by the Bureau.
f. To decide upon the organization of events of the Federation, particularly the International Astronautical Congresses.
g. To appoint Committees necessary for the performance of its functions.
h. To elect the officers of the Federation at its plenary meeting.
i. To consider and adopt any guidelines prepared by the Bureau according to which the Federation may encourage, as appropriate, the establishment and development of entities related to space activities.
j. To consider and adopt any guidelines prepared by the Bureau according to which the Federation should cooperate with national and international organizations in the field of space activities and the peaceful uses of outer space.
k. To consider and adopt rules and regulations prepared by the Bureau that may be deemed necessary for the pursuit of the IAF purposes as per Article 2.
l. To exercise such other powers and functions as may be necessary or proper to carry out the purposes of the Federation.

6.3 Plenary meetings

The General Assembly shall hold its plenary meetings (face-to-face or virtually) annually or, if recommended by the Bureau and with the consent of a majority of all voting Members, as provided in this present Article, less frequently. At each plenary meeting the General Assembly shall determine the place and time of its next plenary meeting.

6.4 Quorum and decisions

a. A quorum to enable the General Assembly to be in session and to take such decisions either by general agreement or by voting shall consist of one third of all voting Members of the Federation, including proxies. If such quorum could not be reached, the General Assembly would start its meeting thirty minutes later under the presence of any number of Members.
b. The General Assembly shall first attempt to take decisions on any matter concerning activities of the Federation by general agreement of all voting Members present at the plenary meeting.
c. The Federation refers to general agreement as a process that involves seeking to collect the widest possible support in order to adopt a decision without a vote. As such, general agreement does not necessarily mean unanimity.
d. General agreement in the IAF General Assembly is not achieved when a number of the voting Members present, that is equal or higher than 5% of all IAF voting Members, as defined in Art. 4.4 c of this Constitution, disagree with the action or recommendation in discussion. Voting Members not in agreement shall raise their hands to signal their objection. Based on the number of objections, the Chair will then announce whether or not general agreement has been achieved.
e. In case general agreement cannot be reached on an action or recommendation by the Bureau or a Committee, a vote on the approval or disapproval of such action or recommendation shall be undertaken. Unless otherwise specified in this Constitution, a simple majority of the voting Members present shall decide the outcome of any deliberation on which general agreement could not be reached.
f. Decisions taken by the General Assembly, either by general agreement or by vote, shall be binding on all members.

6.5 Voting by proxy

If the delegate of a Member of the Federation is not present, its vote in the General Assembly may be cast by a proxy signed by the Head or other duly authorized officer of this Member according to the procedure stipulated in the Bylaws.

6.6 Voting by mail

If necessary, whenever the Bureau so determines, or the General Assembly so decides in advance, voting may take place by mail, including electronic mail. In this case a ballot shall be sent by the Executive Director of the Federation to all Members. Such ballots shall be a full and clear statement in writing of the matters to be voted on. The replies of at least one-third of all voting Members shall be required to establish a quorum and a simple majority of affirmative votes of those replying shall decide the issue. The results of a mail voting as stated by the President of the Federation shall be reported to all Members as soon as possible after the voting takes place.

Article 7 - Committees

7.1. Appointment and Activities

The Committees appointed by the General Assembly in accordance with Article 6.2.g. of this Constitution shall be mandated with such powers and responsibilities as the General Assembly deems advisable. They shall at all times act within their general terms of reference and in the best interests of the Federation. The provisions of Article 11.3.j remain unaffected.

7.2. Terms of Reference and Reporting

The terms of reference for the Committees and details of the procedure by which Committees shall report back to the General Assembly shall be contained in the Bylaws to the Constitution.

Article 8 - Categories of Officers

8.1 Elective Officers and Appointive Officers

The Federation shall have Elective Officers and Appointive Officers.

a. Elective Officers shall be the President and the twelve Vice-Presidents.
b. Appointive Officers shall be the Executive Director, the General Counsel and the Honorary Secretary.

8.2 Eligibility, election and term of elective Officers

a. Elective Officers of the Federation shall be representatives of a Member of this Federation. In the election of Officers, due regard shall be especially paid to candidates of Members from those nations or organizations that foster and support space activities, and to the necessity of equitable geographical, gender, and Membership category distribution.
b. The General Assembly shall elect the Officers at its plenary meeting. The elective Officers shall carry out their functions in their personal capacity. The terms of Officers shall be three years or, if the next plenary meeting of the General Assembly be postponed according to Article 6.3, until their successors are elected. Elective Officers shall not be eligible to serve for a consecutive term and no Elective Officer shall serve the Federation for more than two non-consecutive terms of the same office.
c. The General Assembly may approve amendments to the period of office for elective Officers prescribed by Article 8.2.b in accordance with the general provisions of Article 6.4.

Article 9 - Elective Officers

9.1 The President

a. The President shall serve in his/her office according to the provisions of Article 8.2.b for a maximum period of two non-consecutive terms.
b. The President shall represent the Federation in all public ceremonies or events in which it participates. When the President cannot participate on such occasions, he or she shall designate a Vice President, the Executive Director or a representative of a Member of the Federation to represent the Federation. The President shall approve all public statements issued on behalf of the Federation.
c. The President shall preside over the plenary meetings of the General Assembly. When the President cannot preside, one of the Vice Presidents designated by him or her or, if none is designated, one of the Vice Presidents selected by the General Assembly or a delegate of any Member represented at the meeting of the General Assembly elected as a designee for this function by the General Assembly shall preside. The President or his/her designee for this function shall not act in the General Assembly as a delegate of any Member and shall vote only in case of a tie.
d. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Bureau and report on its conclusions and recommendations to the General Assembly. When the President cannot preside at a Bureau meeting, he or she shall designate a voting member of the Bureau to exercise the powers and to discharge the responsibilities of the President with respect to the meeting. If the President does not make such designation, the voting members of the Bureau present at such meeting shall elect one of Bureau voting members to exercise the powers and to discharge the responsibilities of the President for the meeting.

9.2 Vice Presidents

a. . The Vice Presidents shall work in close coordination with and under the leadership of the President. Vice Presidents may act on behalf of the President, consistent with Articles 9.1.b, 9.1.c and 9.1.d of the Constitution. The Vice Presidents shall serve in their office according to the provisions of Article 8.2.b for a maximum period of two non-consecutive terms.
b. The total number of Vice Presidents shall be twelve. At least four Vice Presidents shall be replaced at each election to enable an adequate rotation of the Elective Officers of the Bureau. The provisions of Article 8.2.b shall apply accordingly.
c. The President of the Federation shall assign to the Vice Presidents their portfolios in accordance with the needs of the Federation and following a discussion amongst voting members of the Bureau regarding the interests and strengths of each of the Vice Presidents, with the goal of maximizing the effectiveness of the Bureau on behalf of the Federation.
d. One of the Vice Presidents, as designated by the President, shall be in charge of financial matters of the Federation and shall be chair of the Finance Committee of the Federation, which is appointed by the General Assembly under Article 6.2.g.
e. Vice Presidents shall attend to the portfolios assigned by the President, shall supervise the IAF Committees and sub-Committees that fall in their respective portfolios, and shall present corresponding written reports to the Bureau.

9.3 Successor in Office of President

a. The incumbent President elected by the General Assembly according to the provisions of this Constitution shall become a non-voting member of the Bureau and President-elect for the period of one year prior to assuming office as President, or, where the provisions of Article 6.3. apply, until the successor is elected.
b. The last-retiring President shall become a non-voting member of the Bureau (Past President) on relinquishing this office and act in an advisory capacity only. The term of office shall be one year.

Article 10 - Appointive Officers of the Federation

The appointive Officers of the Federation, shall in accordance with Article 8.1.b above, be as follows:

10.1 Executive Director of the Federation

The Executive Director of the Federation shall act as secretary to the Bureau and the General Assembly and shall perform such duties as are assigned to him or her in a formal description prepared by the Bureau. He or she shall be appointed by the Bureau and approved by the General Assembly and shall serve until he or she resigns or is replaced.

10.2 General Counsel

a. The General Counsel of the Federation shall be appointed by the Bureau and approved by the General Assembly and shall serve for a 5-year mandate, renewable once. When requested, he or she shall furnish legal advice on all problems requiring such consideration.
b. Amendments to the Constitution, guidelines, rules and regulations which are to be adopted for the achievement of the Federation purposes shall be reviewed by the General Counsel prior to their submission for approval by the General Assembly.
c. Upon a request of the General Counsel, he or she may be assisted by a duly accredited practicing attorney or attorney appointed by the President.

10.3 Honorary Secretary

In coordination with the Bureau, the Honorary Secretary shall oversee activities and processes of the Federation and the Bureau to assure and certify all official documents. He or she shall be appointed by the Bureau and approved by the General Assembly and shall serve for a 5-years mandate, renewable once.

Article 11 - The Bureau

11.1 Composition

a. The Bureau consists of the Elective Officers of the Federation as voting members.
b. The last-retired President (Past President) of the Federation, the President-Elect, both serving the Federation in terms of Article 9.3, the Executive Director, the General Counsel and the Honorary Secretary of the Federation serving the Federation in terms of Article 10, shall be non-voting members of the Bureau.
c. The Presidents/Chairs of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) official Partner organizations (the International Academy of Astronautics, the International Institute of Space Law and the Space Generation Advisory Council) will be invited to report to the IAF Bureau at its regular meetings.
d. If necessary, Chairs of Committees or their representatives appointed according to Article 6.2.g. and 11.3.j. may be invited to participate and report in the relevant meetings of the Bureau when questions relating to their activities will be considered, without the right to vote.
e. The President may invite, for a defined period, distinguished persons or representatives of Members, as Special Advisors to the President to assist the Bureau meetings without the right to vote

11.2 Meetings, Quorum and Bureau Decisions

a. The Bureau shall meet at such times and places as are duly determined by a majority thereof. The meetings of the Bureau shall be convened by the President.
b. Rules of procedure shall determine the business of the Bureau. Following timely notification to the Bureau members of the intention of the President to convene a meeting, the presence at a meeting or written answers of seven voting members of the Bureau shall constitute a quorum.
c. The Bureau shall first endeavor to take decisions by general agreement (see Article 6.4.c) of all voting members present at the meeting. In case general agreement cannot be reached, a simple majority vote shall decide the issue. In the event of a tie, the vote of the President shall be conclusive.

11.3 Duties of Bureau

The Bureau shall:

a. Receive applications for admission and determine the applicant's eligibility for Membership and report its recommendation to the next plenary meeting of the General Assembly.
b. Invite applicants for Membership before their election to the plenary meetings of the General Assembly as observers. Subject to confirmation by the General Assembly, the Bureau may also invite as observers to the plenary meetings of the General Assembly non-Member organizations and bodies, which have a deep interest in the development of space activities.
c. Require a proof of declared space related character and internal Membership of any Member whenever it is at issue, and in case of a negative result, recommend to the General Assembly a temporary suspension of rights of such member.
d. Recommend to the General Assembly for consideration the termination of Membership of any Member under the conditions set forth in Article 5.1. a. of this Constitution and the change in the category of Members according to Article 5.3. of this Constitution.
e. . Recommend and supervise the arrangements for the plenary meetings of the General Assembly and, in cooperation with the entities mentioned in Article 2.2(e) and 6.2(j), for congresses, symposia and other such meetings of the Federation and to take all necessary steps for this purpose.
f. Prepare and submit an agenda of the matters to be considered at the plenary meetings of the General Assembly. All matters, which are to be decided by the General Assembly, shall be considered in advance by the Bureau.
g. Supervise the preparation of the accounts and the disbursement of funds, recommend an annual budget and present all pertinent information in the form of an annual report to the General Assembly.
h. Make recommendations to the General Assembly concerning annual contributions of each Member of the Federation.
i. Accept on behalf of the Federation private donations or contributions from national or international organizations or from governments.
j. Appoint interim committees to discharge tasks arising since the last plenary meeting of the General Assembly.
k. Take appropriate measures for developing the cooperation of the Federation with national and international organizations, societies, bodies and institutions in the field of space activities and the peaceful uses of outer space, on the basis of guidelines established by the General Assembly.
l. Perform such additional duties as may be directed by the General Assembly.

CHAPTER V – ELECTIONS

Article 12 - Nomination Committee

12.1 General

a. The General Assembly on a proposal by the Bureau shall appoint a Nomination Committee which shall be responsible for the elaboration of recommendations concerning the election of Officers whose terms of office are to begin following the next General Assembly. The Bureau may take advice from Members on suitable candidates that would achieve a balance among the members of the Nomination Committee, with respect to geography, gender, generation and Members’ categories representation.
b. The Nomination Committee shall be composed of five members who are not members of the Bureau, are representatives of IAF Member organizations in good standing and do not have a conflict of interest with any Nominee. Further criteria for membership in and the principles governing the functioning of the Nomination Committee are contained in the Bylaws.

12.2 Nominees

Nominees for the positions of any Elective Officer shall be representatives of Members in good standing, shall fulfil the criteria for eligibility for office and shall confirm that they accept the nomination. Candidates may be nominated either for the President position, or for a Vice President position (according to Article 9.2.b). They shall not be nominated for a specific Vice President portfolio as these are assigned by the President after the election has been completed (see Article 9.2.c). Nominees may only be recommended for one open position.

The number of nominees per office is unlimited.

12.3 Nomination Committee report

The Nomination Committee shall review the applications for office according to the term applicable to that office under Article 8.2.b and interview each candidate.

Once the Nomination Committee has made a determination, objectively reached, and with the interests of the Federation in mind, it shall thereafter notify the Bureau of its recommendations for the position of President and positions of Vice President, as the terms of individual office so require and the positions become vacant. The Bureau shall thereafter inform the General Assembly of the list of qualifying candidates drawn up by the Nomination Committee for recommendation to the General Assembly. Where the Bureau does not agree with the Nomination Committee recommendations, it may inform the General Assembly of its disagreement.

12.4 Hearing in General Assembly

The General Assembly shall seek general agreement on the recommended set of nominees proposed by the Nomination Committee.

In the case of there being general agreement on the slate of nominees recommended by the Nomination Committee, the entire slate shall be considered duly elected by the General Assembly to the positions recommended by the Nomination Committee.

In the case where general agreement cannot be reached on the Nomination Committee’s recommendations, a simple majority vote on the approval or disapproval of the Nomination Committee’s recommendation shall be undertaken.

In the case of disapproval of the Nomination Committee’s recommendation, the General Assembly shall vote based on the entire list of candidates.

Ballots shall be distributed with the names, affiliations and nationalities of each candidate. The General Assembly will be instructed to indicate their preferred candidates for as many Vice President openings as need to be filled (typically four), and for the President if applicable. Ballots that indicate choices for more Vice Presidents candidates than there are openings to fill, or for more than one candidate for President, will be considered invalid.

The candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be considered elected. In the case of a tie, a re-election between the candidates concerned shall be conducted.

CHAPTER VI – DISSOLUTION

Article 13 - General

13.1 Approval by General Assembly

The Federation may be dissolved with the approval of two thirds of its voting Members. Any assets remaining after the discharge of all obligations shall be offered and transferred to an international institution having objectives similar to the purposes set forth in Article 2 of this Constitution. If this transfer to such an institution cannot be accomplished, it should be made to any international institution devoted to research as may be designated by the Bureau.

13.2 Winding-up

The Bureau shall be responsible for the winding-up of the affairs of the Federation.

CHAPTER VII – BYLAWS, STANDING RULES

Article 14 - Bylaws

14.1 General

The business of the Federation shall be conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the Bylaws of the Federation. The Bylaws shall be adopted on the recommendation of the Bureau by the General Assembly. In the event of any conflict between the Bylaws and the Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail.

14.2. Rules of Procedure

The Bylaws shall contain integrated Rules of Procedure governing the proceedings of the organs of the Federation (General Assembly, the Bureau, and Committees) in accordance with Article 6.4. of this Constitution

14.3 Amendment to Bylaws

The Bylaws may be amended in accordance with Article 6.4. of this Constitution.

CHAPTER VIII – AMENDMENTS

Article 15 - Approval by General Assembly

a. Amendments to this Constitution shall be adopted with the approval of two thirds of all voting Members. All amendments shall, unless otherwise provided therein, take effect immediately upon such approval.
b. Notice of any proposed amendments shall be communicated to all members of the Federation by the Executive Director, at least three months in advance of the date fixed for the vote on such amendments. The use of electronic mail with receipt shall constitute sufficient notification for the purposes of this provision.

CHAPTER IX – OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

Article 16 - Language for communication

English shall be the official working language of the Federation. French shall be used in official communications with the public French authorities.


Chapter I - Bylaws of Association

Article 1 - Adoption and amendment

1.1 Procedure for approval and entry into force

These Bylaws were adopted by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Bureau in accordance with Article 14 Constitution.

1.2 Amendments and Approval

Applications (motions) for amendments to these Bylaws shall be submitted in writing to the Bureau and shall be approved by the General Assembly in accordance with Article 6.4 Constitution. Amendments shall enter into force immediately upon approval by the General Assembly in accordance with that Article, unless otherwise provided.

Article 2 - Membership and Membership Dues

2.1 Strategic review of membership

The Bureau shall monitor and review the Federation’s strategic responses to growth and evolution of its membership. It shall present its recommendations and report to the General Assembly at regular intervals.

2.2 Review of membership categories and dues

The main categories of IAF members for the calculation of membership dues are in accordance with Article 4.2 Constitution. The Bureau shall periodically review the categories of membership and levels of dues. The status of the Federation as a non-profit association shall, however, remain unaffected at all times.

2.3 Payment

a. Members shall pay annual dues in a timely manner and within the fiscal year in which the invoice is issued. The Bureau may grant an extension where requested and on cause shown. Any Member granted such an extension shall, in accordance with Article 4.4c of the Constitution, be a non-voting Member until such time as its dues are fully paid.
b. For the purposes of Article 4.4.c Constitution, payment of dues in the year preceding the General Assembly shall be deemed relevant.
c. Newly elected members shall have the right to vote on payment of membership dues for the year of admission.

The provisions of Article 5 Constitution remain unaffected.

Chapter II – - General Assembly

Article 3 - Plenary Meetings

The Plenary meeting shall take place in two sessions according to established Federation practice, on the Monday and Friday within the location of the annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC). The agenda of the General Assembly shall be divided accordingly between these days.

3.1 Attendance

A member may be represented at the General Assembly by any partner, director, board member or such other duly authorized legal representative or delegate with relevant power of authority. Members attending shall notify the names of those delegates authorized to attend the General Assembly to the Secretariat no later than five business days preceding the Plenary. Delegates shall register for each session of the Plenary, providing evidence of their identity, as well as proof of authorization to vote on behalf of the Member in terms of Article 4.4. Constitution.

The Secretariat may refuse to admit any delegate who is not in a position to identify him/ herself or who does not have written authority to represent the member.

Article 4 - Convening General Assembly

4.1 Notice

The Executive Director shall give members a period of a three weeks’ notice in writing of the next General Assembly and provide a provisional agenda. Further documentation as is required shall be provided within a reasonable time for review prior to the General Assembly.

4.2 Motions by Members

Members may submit items to the Bureau for inclusion in the General Assembly agenda as relate to the business and management of the Federation.

4.3 Minutes of General Assembly

Minutes of the General Assembly shall be taken by the Secretariat, and made available to all Members within eight weeks of the General Assembly for approval in the subsequent Plenary .

Article 5 – Voting Rights, Proxy

5.1 Members’ vote

The Bureau shall recommend the form of voting to be followed in the General Assembly, with the exception of voting for Officers, where consensus and/or vote on the recommendations of the Nomination Committee and/or Bureau shall be sought. The provisions of Article 6.6. and Article 12.4. Constitution shall remain unaffected.

5.2 Proxy

The written proxy, duly authenticated, shall be submitted prior to the Plenary meeting by the Member or its delegate to the Executive Director, in accordance with Article 6.5. Constitution. A maximum of three (3) proxies shall be exercised by the delegate of a Member for the purpose of voting at the Plenary meeting.

Chapter III – Bureau

Article 6 – Organization of Bureau

6.1 Bureau Organizational Structure

The President may determine the functions and portfolios of the twelve Vice Presidents as necessary in the light of Federation’s business requirements and in accordance with its practice.

The main responsibilities for the Vice Presidents shall be made available to members through the Federation website.

6.2 Management procedures

The Bureau’s responsibilities shall include: review of new member candidates; supervision of Federation activities; supervision of Federation accounts; review of candidates for the Nomination Committee and management of the International Astronautical Congress; and supervision of and reporting by Committees.

6.3 Executive Director and Secretariat

The Secretariat is led by the Executive Director who shall establish the mechanisms for effective support where the demands of the Federation so require. To this end, he / she shall take initiatives for standardizing Federation documentary procedures, for the management of the Federation and its meetings, and shall make these available through the Federation website. This shall include, inter alia, procedures and such documentation as are required relating to:

a. managing membership basis and dues;
b. managing the business of the Federation and such related financial aspects in close conjunction with the Vice President for Finance; the provisions of Article 9.2.(d) and Article 11.3. Constitution remain unaffected;
c. ensuring efficient voting procedure in the Plenary meeting;
d. managing attendance at meetings;
e. Committee reporting to the Bureau through the responsible Vice President;
f. preparing and managing the Call, the solicitation of proposals, the on-Site Inspections and other tasks relating to the organisation of the annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC).

Chapter IV – Elections

Article 7 - Nomination Committee and General Assembly Vote

7.1. Call for Elective Officers and Remit of Nomination Committee

The Nomination Committee shall fulfill its functions in terms of Article 12 Constitution and shall observe the provisions of these Bylaws in its activities and deliberations relating to the selection of nominees for Elective Officers of the Federation.

7.2. Composition, Nomination Committee

Recommendations for membership of the Nomination Committee shall be made in terms of Article 12 Constitution by the Bureau and approved by the General Assembly in the first part of its meeting. Members of the Committee should be well known, with a high reputation in the space community and should have a good understanding of the global space sector. Members of the Committee should be nominated by a member organization and seconded by another member organization from a different country. They should be acquainted with the functioning of Federation and/or have recently been active participants in its business and reflect a certain geographical balance, thereby avoiding overrepresentation by certain regions. Some systematic rotation within regions of member organizations represented on the Committee shall be strived for from year to year. A certain balance should be observed in the composition of the Committee between large, medium and small member organizations. Members of the Committee must confirm their availability to act.

7.3. Exclusion from Membership of Nomination Committee

Representatives of Federation member organizations that have nominated candidates should not be considered for the Nomination Committee. Candidates should not be drawn from the same organizations as in the preceding Nominations Committee in order to involve members from as many organizations and regions as possible, thereby maintaining the international and diverse character of the Federation.

7.4. Convening Nomination Committee

The Committee shall decide on its Chair, who shall convene the meetings. The Nomination Committee shall make itself available for at least one session between the two meetings of the General Assembly where representatives of IAF member organizations can express their views about candidates in either an open or closed session of the Nominations Committee.

The Nomination Committee shall review the incumbent applicants’ files during its first constitutive session and thereafter interview each candidate nominated for Office.

7.5. Nomination Committee Report

The Nomination Committee shall present its report on the list of qualifying candidates to the Executive Director, who shall make it available to the Bureau at its second session in sufficient time for a vote during the second session of the General Assembly.

Article 8 - Ballot

8.1 Vote for Elective Officers

Article 12.5 of the Constitution shall apply to the form of voting procedure.

Chapter V – Committees

Article 9 - Role and Purpose of Committee Structure

9.1 Committees

The Federation is supported in its activities and work through a committee structure.

The Committees shall be appointed by the General Assembly in accordance with Article 6.2.g. Constitution. Further details of management and continued supervision of committees, including their dissolution, are contained in Annex 1.

9.2 Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference shall govern the remit and organization of the Committees. The Committees, with the exception of the Nomination Committee, shall define their own specific Terms of Reference on the basis of the Rules of Procedures as listed in Annex 1-6 for Administrative and Technical Committees, the Technical Activities Committee (TAC) and the International Programme Committee (IPC) Steering Group. Such Terms of Reference shall be approved by the Vice President responsible and notified to the Bureau.

9.3 Committee meetings

Each Committee shall appoint its Chair and Vice-Chair.

Meetings shall be convened in accordance with the Standing Rules of Procedure according to Article 10.

9.4 Review

The Committees’ activities shall be reviewed by the Bureau at three yearly intervals.

Chapter VI – Standing Rules of Procedure

Article 10 - Scope

10.1 Approval and entry into force

The Bureau may, in accordance with the Federation Constitution and Bylaws, establish further Standing Rules of Procedure governing the activities of the Federation. Such Standing Rules of Procedure shall become effective immediately, unless otherwise provided.

10.2 Amendment

Any such Standing Rules established by the Bureau shall be notified to the General Assembly at the next regular Plenary Meeting.

10.3 Authorized Members’ online access

Any such Standing Rules established by the Bureau shall be maintained as the Standing Rules of Procedure in the secure, authorized login section of the Federation Members website.

Annex 1 - STANDING RULES OF PROCEDURE for ALL IAF COMMITTEES

1. Scope

The General Assembly shall establish Committees as necessary to conduct the Federation’s operations effectively. It is the Committee Chair's responsibility to maintain an adequate and active Committee membership, in accordance with the membership appropriate to each Committee. A list of Committees recognised by the By-Laws as furthering the business of the Federation are maintained on the Members website of the Federation, in accordance with Article 10 Bylaws. Committees shall operate in accordance with these Federation’s Standing Rules of Procedure, including those listed in Annexes 1-6 Bylaws, to be approved and amended according to Article 1 Bylaws, and otherwise maintained by the Bureau and listed on the Members website of the Federation, in accordance with Article 10 Bylaws.

2. Organization

1. The General Assembly, upon recommendation by the Bureau, shall appoint Committees to guide the various activities in support of the Federation’s interests in accordance with Art 6.2.g. Constitution. Each of these Committees shall have a Chair and one or more ViceChairs.
2. The Committee members shall be affiliated to or retired from an IAF member organization, or designated by a member organization as its representative. They shall have the appropriate expertise required for membership of the particular committee and be in good standing. New members shall be proposed by the Chair for approval by members of the Committee. They shall be appointed for a renewable term of three years.
3. The Committee may invite additional experts to the Committee, who are not affiliated to an IAF member organization. Those shall be nominated by the Chair and appointed by the responsible Vice President for a term up to three years, and are not eligible for reappointment.
4. The Committee may also include additional “friends of the Committee”, who shall not be formal members but are interested in its activities. The friends of Committee shall have an affiliation within or outside the IAF Member organization.
5. The Committees shall meet at least twice a year, once during the annual IAC and once during the IAF Spring Meeting.

3. Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of the Committees shall be to:

1. Promote international cooperation in space in their specified field of activity;
2. Disseminate related technical information;
3. Conduct studies on subjects of international interest;
4. Publish papers and reports;
5. Organize symposia and sessions at the annual congresses or outside; and
6. Cooperate with their counter parts in IAA and IISL.

4. Committee Chair

The Committee Chairperson shall be proposed by the Committee with the agreement of the responsible Vice President as listed below, appointed by the Bureau for a period up to three years, and may be reappointed for a second term. Chairpersons who have served in the Committee for at least one year as a member shall be eligible for appointment. In the case of a newly established Committee, the founding Chairperson shall be appointed by the Bureau.

5. Reporting

1. Committees shall submit a report to the Bureau at least once per year through the responsible Vice President.
2. The President or responsible Vice Chair shall present the annual Committee report to the General Assembly on behalf of the Committees; Committees shall report directly to the General Assembly when requested by the President.
3. Reports shall include a rolling work-plan of the Committee, as well as minutes of meetings held in the timeframe concerned. These reports shall be made available on the IAF Members website as appropriate.

6. Subcommittees

Committees may create subcommittees, each having a Chair and one or more Vice-Chairs, recommended by the responsible Vice President and approved by the Bureau.

7. Terms of Reference

1. The general Terms of Reference for Committees are attached in Annex 2~6 to be approved and amended according to Art 1 Bylaws.
2. Each Committee shall set up its own specific Terms of Reference, which shall be compatible with the General Terms of Reference, endorsed by the responsible Vice President and approved by the Bureau. The specific Terms of Reference shall contain a description of the Committee’s activities and responsibilities according to Section 1 of this Annex. To maintain consistency among all Terms of Reference, guidelines for the specific Terms of Reference are contained in Annex 3.

8. Decisions

Committees shall endeavour to take decisions on the basis of consensus. Where no agreement can be reached, a majority of the Committee members shall be required to pass any decision.

9. Dissolution

The Bureau shall assess the activities of each Committee at three-yearly intervals. The Bureau may add new Committees, discontinue existing ones, and may restructure them as necessary. Such actions shall be taken by majority decision of the Vice Presidents in office. The provisions of Art. 11.2.c Constitution remain unaffected.

Annex 2 - GENERAL TERMS OF REFERENCE for ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEES

The IAF Administrative Committees provide specialised advice and recommendations to the IAF, supporting the Federation's work. They play a key role in the Federation's internal affairs, including the provision of guidance, recommendations and related support to the IAF Bureau and the IAF General Assembly.

1. Responsibilities

Administrative Committees are composed of IAF member organizations’ representatives. They promote international cooperation in space in their specified field of activity, disseminate related technical information, conduct studies on subjects of international interest, publish papers and reports, organize symposia and sessions at the annual congresses or outside, and cooperate with their counter parts in IAA and IISL.

2. Appointment

Administrative Committees are appointed by the General Assembly, following a proposal by the Bureau according to Art 6.2.g Constitution.

3. Chairperson

Administrative Committees shall have a Chairperson and one or more Vice-Chairs. The Chairperson shall be proposed by the Committee with the concurrence of the responsible Vice President, appointed by the Bureau for a period up to three years and may be reappointed for a second term. Chairpersons shall have served the Committee as a member for at least one year to become eligible for appointment. In case of a newly established Committee, a founding Chairperson shall be appointed by the Bureau.

4. Members

Administrative Committee members must be affiliated to or retired from an IAF member organization, or designated by a member organization as its representative. New members shall be proposed by the Chair for approval by members of the Committee. They shall have the appropriate expertise required for membership of the particular committee and shall be appointed for a renewable term of three years.

5. Experts

Administrative Committees may enhance their membership with experts not affiliated to an IAF member organization. Those shall be nominated by the Chair and appointed by the responsible Vice President for a term up to three years and may not be reappointed.

6. Subcommittees

Administrative Committees may create subcommittees, each having a Chair and one or more Vice-Chairs, recommended by the responsible Vice President and approved by the Bureau.

7. Terms of Reference

Each Administrative Committee shall set up its own specific Terms of Reference, which shall be compatible with the General Terms of Reference (Annex 2), endorsed by the responsible Vice President and approved by the Bureau. The specific Terms of Reference shall contain a description of Administrative Committee’s activities and responsibilities according to Section 1. To maintain consistency among all Administrative Committee’s Terms of Reference, guidelines for the specific Terms of Reference are proposed in Annex 4.

8. Meetings

Administrative Committees shall meet at least twice per year, once during the annual IAC and once during the Spring Meetings

9. Decisions

Administrative Committees shall endeavor to take decisions on the basis of consensus. Where no agreement can be reached, a majority of the Committee members shall be required to pass any decision.

10. Reporting

Administrative Committees shall submit a report to the Bureau at least once per year through the responsible Vice President. Reports shall include a rolling work-plan of the Committee, as well as minutes of meetings held in the timeframe concerned. These reports shall be made available on the IAF Members website as appropriate.

11. Dissolution

Administrative Committees may be dissolved by the General Assembly on recommendation of the Bureau.

Annex 3 - GENERAL TERMS OF REFERENCE for IAF TECHNICAL COMMITTEES

Technical Committees are the backbone of the International Astronautical Federation. While originally intended to organize symposia at the annual IAC, they have developed year round activities forming the leading global network of space expertise. IAF Technical Committees advance current knowledge and shape the development in their specific field. The present revision of the General Terms of Reference takes account of this development and follows the demands of the Constitution of a membership based Federation.

1. Responsibilities

IAF Technical Committees are composed of IAF member organizations’ representatives. They promote international cooperation in space in their specified field of activity, disseminate related technical information, conduct studies on subjects of international interest, publish papers and reports, organize symposia and sessions at the annual congresses or outside, and cooperate with their counter parts in IAA and IISL.

2. Appointment

Technical Committees are appointed by the General Assembly, following a proposal by the Bureau according to Art 6.2.g Constitution.

3. Chairperson

Technical Committees will have a Chairperson and one or more Vice-Chairs. The Chairperson shall be proposed by the Committee with the concurrence of the Vice President Technical Activities, appointed by the Bureau for a period up to three years and may be reappointed for a second term. Chairpersons shall have served in the Committee for at least 1 year as a member before being eligible for such appointment. In case of a newly established Committee, a founding Chairperson shall be appointed by the Bureau.

4. Members

Technical Committee members must be affiliated to or retired from an IAF member organization, or designated by a member organization as its representative. New members shall be proposed by the Chair for approval by members of the Committee. They shall have the appropriate expertise required for membership of the particular committee and shall be appointed for a renewable term of three years.

5. Experts

Technical Committees may enhance their membership with experts not affiliated to an IAF member organization. Those shall be nominated by the Chair, appointed by the Vice President Technical Activities for a term up to three years and may not be reappointed.

6. Subcommittees

Technical Committees may create subcommittees, each having a Chair and one or more ViceChairs, recommended by the Vice President Technical Activities and approved by the Bureau.

7. Terms of Reference

Each Technical Committee shall set up its own specific Terms of Reference, which shall be compatible with the General Terms of Reference, endorsed by the Vice President Technical Activities and approved by the Bureau. The specific Terms of Reference shall contain a description of the Technical Committee’s activities and responsibilities according to item 1. To maintain consistency among all Technical Committees’ Terms of Reference, a guideline for the specific Terms of Reference is proposed in Annex.

8. Meetings

Technical Committees shall meet at least twice per year, once during the annual IAC and once during the Spring Meetings.

9. Operation

Technical Committees shall delegate members to serve on the IAF International Programme Committee (IPC) for each Congress. The Chairperson shall serve on the Technical Activities Committee.

10. Decisions

Technical Committees shall endeavour to take decisions on the basis of consensus. Where no agreement can be reached, a majority of the Committee members shall be required to pass any decision.

11. Reporting

Technical Committees shall submit a report to the Bureau at least once per year through the Technical Activities Committee.

12. Dissolution

Technical Committees may be dissolved by the General Assembly on recommendation of the Bureau.

Annex 4 - GUIDELINES for the SPECIFIC TERM OF REFERENCE OF EACH COMMITTEE

Each IAF Administrative and Technical Committee shall determine its specific Terms of Reference and draft these, having regard to the General terms of References. The General Terms of Reference for IAF Administrative and Technical Committees issued by IAF Bureau list the basic rules applicable to all Administrative and Technical Committees. The specific Terms of Reference further elaborate the remit of each Administrative and Technical Committee, taking the specific nature of its activities into account. The following guidelines for the specific Terms of Reference are proposed to maintain consistency among all Committees methods of operation.

1. General Objectives of the Committee

Topics to be addressed, fields of interests and activities, cooperation.

2. Committee Activities

  • Proposal and organization of IAC symposium and sessions, including identification of administrative or technical topics of importance
  • Participation in the paper selection, undertaking session chair and rapporteur
  • Participation in IPC
  • Organization of dedicated conferences, publications
  • Participation in the IAF annual report to the UN
  • Selection of papers for Acta Astronautica

3. Operative Procedures and Coordination

  • Organization of the regular meetings (e.g., location, communications, Minutes of Meetings etc.) of papers for Acta Astronautica
  • Relation between symposium chairs and sessions chairs. Relation between sessions chairs and oral and poster authors
  • Procedure for the designation of new members
  • Regular internal Communication among the Committee
  • Coordination with other Committees and with IAA and IISL (where required).

4. Structure of the Committee

  • Internal organization of the Committee
  • Creation and link with sub-committee

Note: The Committee membership list (Chairpersons, vice Chair if any, members and experts) shall be an appendix to the dedicated Terms of Reference, to enable its annual update, following any change in the membership list, without affecting the provisions of the main terms.

Annex 5 - TERMS OF REFERENCE for the INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME COMMITTEE STEERING GROUP

1. Responsibilities

The International Programme Committee (IPC) Steering Group supports the local IPC Co-Chairs in preparing and conducting the International Astronautical Congress. It coordinates the Symposia and Sessions between the five Categories:

  • Science and Exploration
  • Applications and Operations
  • Technology
  • Infrastructure
  • Space and Society

It advises the IPC Co-Chairs in developing an overall structure for the IAC and proposing a public program (including Plenary Events and Highlight Lectures) to the IAF Bureau.

2. Composition

  • 2 “local” IPC Co-chairs (2 years term): one nominated by the on-going LOC and one from the upcoming LOC
  • 1 “General” IPC-Co-Chair nominated by the Bureau with a 3 year term renewable once, ensuring continuity of experience in the IAC
  • 5 Category Leaders (3 + 3 years term) - Science and Exploration, Applications and Operations, Technology, Infrastructure, Space and Society, proposed by the IPC Steering Group and nominated by the IAF Bureau
  • 1 representative of each of the partner organizations IAF, IAA, and IISL, nominated by the respective organization for a 3 years term renewable once
  • The IAF Vice President for Technical Activities as Ex-Officio member

3. Meetings

  • The IPC Steering Group shall meet at least twice a year, at the IAF Spring Meetings and in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress.
  • More than one meeting might be scheduled during IAC, depending on the demand.

Annex 6 - TERMS OF REFERENCE for the TECHNICAL ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE

The IAF Technical Activity Committee (TAC) is a forum for IAF, IAA and IISL to collaborate, to optimize the contents of the International Astronautical Congress and to reduce overlaps / interferences among Symposia and Sessions.

It also develops the General Terms of Reference for Technical Committees, having due concern for the development of the IAF, IAA, IISL and the International Astronautical Congress.

1. Responsibilities:

The Committee shall:

  • Review the topics to be addressed at each IAC on an annual basis, reducing overlaps / interferences among Symposia and Sessions
  • Assess whether the appropriate IAF Technical Committee structure (or its equivalent in IAA and IISL) exists to deliver the identified primary topics
  • Ensure integration of the Technical Committees (and their equivalent in IAA and IISL) work and delivery of their programmes in line with the IAF guidelines
  • Serve as liaison between the Bureau and the Technical Committees (and their equivalent in IAA and IISL) and to inform the Bureau about the work performed by the TAC
  • Submit an Annual Report to the Bureau for review and approval
  • Identify the need to develop TAC documents related to the scope of the Committee, coordinate their elaboration and request their issuing.

2. Composition:

  • The Committee is a Federation high-level body comprising the Chairpersons of all Technical Committees s and the IPC Co-Chairs. The IAC Technical Coordinator for IAA, a representative from IISL and one Coordinator for each IAA and IISL Symposium are invited as regular members at Committee meetings.
  • The Committee is chaired by the Vice President – Technical Activities.

3. Meetings:

  • The TAC shall meet at least twice a year: at the IAF Spring Meeting and in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress
  • Draft agendas should be distributed at least two weeks before each meeting.