Scotland Space Sector Expected to Thrive with New UK Spaceports Regulations10th Aug 2021
Scotland space sector should finally thrive as the government passes new regulations for UK spaceports. The updated spaceflight regulations were announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on 29th July. The announcement came along with the formal appointment of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as the space regulating body.
What do new regulations mean for Scotland space sector?
As of now, most UK spaceports are planned in Scotland, which will give the country a much expected boost. The change will finally unlock the full potential of the UK and Scotland space industry, launching a new market worth a £4 billion value.
Most importantly, it will make the UK the first country in Europe to have its own local launch sites. As a result, the country will be able to offer a full cycle of space services – from manufacturing satellites to launching them into orbit with its own rockets. This will boost the UK economy and create hundreds of new highly-skilled job opportunities.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps adds that the UK is on the cusp of a new commercial space era. The recent regulations are a welcome change that demonstrates the government’s commitment to make the UK a leading space power.
When will the first UK spaceports become operational?
The first launches from UK spaceports may happen as soon as next year. According to Science Minister Amanda Solloway, this will be a remarkable moment, and the recent regulations have just brought this exciting change one step closer.
Appointing CAA as the spaceflight regulator seems a wise decision given that the organisation has been overseeing the aviation sector for nearly 50 years. Besides satellite launches and cargo deliverers, UK spaceports may eventually host human and supersonic flights, and the wealth of Scotland space potential will have a large role to play in that.