The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has shortlisted a number of sites in Britain that could become Europe’s first spaceport.
The plans have won widespread industry backing, the CAA said, following a three-month consultation. The possible sites for the spaceport has been revised from the initial list drawn up in July 2014 and now include Campbeltown, Glasgow Prestwick and Stornoway in Scotland, as well as Newquay in Cornwall and Llanbedr in Wales.
“Paving the way for a national spaceport is one of our biggest science achievements in this parliament,” said business secretary Vince Cable. “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 £400bn a year to the global economy by 2030.”
Aviation minister Robert Goodwill said:”Today’s consultation response marks another step forward in our work to support this emerging industry, which will create jobs and drive economic growth.”
Cable added: “Launching satellites and operating commercial space flights from our shores was once only confined to the depths of science fiction, but with the results of this consultation we are one step closer to making this a very real ability in the near future.”
RAF Leuchars was also named as a potential temporary facility, but further airfields at RAF Lossiemouth and Kinloss Barracks have been ruled out because of their strategic defence value.