The Sky Law
On the 31st October 1988 the Spanish Government passed the Law for the Protection of the Astronomical Quality of the IAC Observatories (Law 31/1988, pdf), which was proposed by the parliament of the Canary Islands. On the 13th March 1992 the government approved the Regulations for the law (R.D. 243/1992, pdf).
The IAC's Sky Quality Protection Technical Office regulates the application of the law and provides advice to residents on compliance.
The law deals with four main areas:
- Light pollution
It regulates exterior lighting on the island of La Palma and the area of Tenerife directly visible from it to prevent light pollution.
- Radioelectrical pollution
It sets limits for electromagnetic radiation so that it does not interfere with equipment or corrupt results at the observatories and prevents radioelectrical pollution.
- Atmospheric pollution
It controls activities which could damage the atmosphere over the observatories to prevent atmospheric pollution.
- Aviation routes
It regulates air traffic over the observatories to prevent interference from aviation routes.