Newquay Cornwall Airport remains in the running to become the home to Europe’s first spaceport.
Publishing the outcome of a three-month consultation with a range of interested parties, the Government today (March 3) confirmed widespread support for its plans. This paves the way towards making commercial spaceflight operations in the UK a reality.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) shortlisted a number of possible locations for the spaceport last July and this has today been updated.
The shortlisted sites are now Campbeltown, Glasgow Prestwick and Stornoway in Scotland, as well as Newquay in Cornwall and Llanbedr in Wales. RAF Leuchars was also confirmed as a potential temporary facility.
The Government has ruled out two airfields at RAF Lossiemouth and Kinloss Barracks for operational reasons, given their vital role in Defence.
Aviation minister, Robert Goodwill, said: “I want Britain to lead the way in commercial spaceflight. Establishing a spaceport will ensure we are at the forefront of this exciting new technology.
“Today’s consultation response marks another step forward in our work to support this emerging industry, which will create jobs and drive economic growth.”
Business Secretary, Vince Cable, added: “Paving the way for a national spaceport is one of our biggest science achievements in this parliament.
“It greatly underscores the work of our space innovation and growth strategy to position the UK as a world-leader in this exciting arena that is expected to be worth up to £400 billion a year to the global economy by 2030.”
The next step is for the Department for Transport (DfT) to develop a detailed technical specification of spaceport requirements, prior to inviting proposals. This is due to be published later this year.