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Traveller™Imperial Starport Authority
Science-Fiction Adventure in the Far Future
Imperial Starport Authority
The Imperium uses a number of agencies to indirectly govem its vast reaches. None of these - not even the Imperial Navy in all its dreadnought glory - can claim greater importance than the Imperial Starport Authority.
The SPA manages all Imperial public starports, which is to say, the port facilities for well over 97% of trade and travel in Imperial space. The job requires equal genius in administration, diplomacy, and crisis response.
On paper, the SPA - as represented by each port's director - merely manages the starport. The SPA port, especially the shipyard, often hosts pennanent scout or naval operations, but these remain under scout or naval control. (The entire port often falls under naval control during a crisis.) The port usually houses Imperial diplomatic offices, but the port personnel have no policymaking duties.
In practice, each port's director wields enormous influence on local relations.
A saying is that the Navy can always point a gun to get what it wants, the Scouts monopolize the euphoria of first contact then move along, the diplomats hammer out definitions of the ideal... but it's the SPA personnel that roll up their sleeves and make Imperial-member world relations work on a daily basis. However much truth underlies that statement, rare is the admiral, sector scout leader, or ambassador who does not consult with the local port director on matters of importance.
All Imperial starports are Imperial property, regardless of the allegiance of the system they occupy. Within the port's boundaries - referred to as the XT Line local law and polidcal authority are not in force.
Over 97% of the starports within the Imperium and over 40% of those found on nearby non-member worlds are Imperial ports.