Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES, via the Luxembourg government, is arguing strongly that London-based Avanti Communications should be denied the 31 degree West orbital slot for their Hylas 2 satellite.

SES is building Astra 5B for location at 31.5 degrees, and will use the same Ka-band frequencies on board Hylas-2.

Hylas 2 was launched last month. Avanti, via the UK government, argued that its Hylas-1 craft paused for 16 days at 31 deg W during December 2010 while en-route to its allocated orbital slot at 33.5 deg West. Sixteen days was once considered normal as an occupying strategy, although new ITU recommendations suggest 90 days as the new minimum needed to bring a slot into use.

The UK, in its communications with the ITU states that any reversal of these rights would have disastrous consequences for Avanti. Avanti, in September 10th statement said that Hylas-2 has completed all its in-orbit testing and was now open for business. It also stated that it had received confirmation from the ITU that the satellite’s position had been accepted and recognised for the 31 deg East slot.