UK Spaceport

In July 2014, the UK Government announced its intention to build a Spaceport, which will enable take-off and landing of reusable space vehicles, such as Skylon and Virgin Galactic.

Key factors to be taken into consideration include:

  • an existing runway which is – or is capable of being extended to – more than 3000 metres in length
  • the ability to accommodate dedicated segregated airspace to manage spaceflights safely
  • a reasonable distance from densely populated areas in order to minimise impact on the general public

The shortlist of possible sites includes:

  • Campbeltown Airport (Scotland)
  • Glasgow Prestwick Airport (Scotland)
  • Llanbedr Airport (Wales)
  • Newquay Cornwall Airport (England)
  • Stornoway Airport (Scotland)
  • RAF Leuchars (Scotland) – potential temporary facility

The Government initially hoped for 2018 as the date for the Spaceport to be up and running but this timetable appears to have slipped a bit.

The initial consultation outcome was published in March 2015, and a detailed technical specification of Spaceport requirements is due to be published before the end of the year.