New Rules for UK Spaceport Projects Give Snowdonia Spaceport a Chance to Succeed

11th Aug 2021
New Rules for UK Spaceport Projects Give Snowdonia Spaceport a Chance to Succeed

As the government passes new regulations for UK spaceports and spaceflight operations, projects like the Snowdonia Spaceport get a real chance to compete in the international space arena. Right now, most European launches happen from a spaceport in French Guiana, but as the UK commissions its own launch sites, the situation may well change. More specifically, new spaceflight regulations should unlock a £4 billion market for the UK, boosting its economy.

Will Snowdonia Spaceport become operational soon?

As of now, most launch facilities are planned in Scotland. Snowdonia spaceport is the only site proposed in Wales and, before recently, its future was questionable. However, as the Department for Transport passes new spaceflight regulations and appoints the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as the space industry regulator, the future of UK spaceport projects becomes more secure. The first launches from UK spaceports may happen in 2022. Still, in the case of Snowdonia Spaceport, it may take a little longer than that.

What do new regulations mean for UK spaceport projects?

While it is not yet clear which UK spaceport will become the first to launch a satellite into space, updated spaceflight regulations draw this remarkable moment one step closer. According to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, the UK is on the brink of unlocking the full potential of its space industry. The government’s commitment to supporting this lucrative niche is stronger than ever. Eventually, UK spaceports will do more than launch satellites into required orbits – they may also become space tourism hubs.

Right now, the CAA is ready to receive applications for UK spaceport launch licenses. According to the CAA head of space regulations Colin Macleod, the team will consider several licensing and engineering policies to ensure safe and sustainable use of UK spaceport projects, which will eventually include Snowdonia Spaceport.

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