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Aecom wants Scotland spaceport job

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Aecom has put itself in the running for work on the first UK spaceport, which will launch satellites off the north coast of Scotland by 2020. 

The infrastructure services firm said it would develop its UK capability and re-skill resources from the Dounrey Nuclear plant to make sure a trained workforce is ready to support the space launch industry.

It has appointed Aecom Aerospace Enterprise Services vice president Doug Johnson to take the lead on the Sutherland port. 

The UK Space Agency has pledged £23.5M to US aerospace firm Lockheed Martin to establish vertical launch operations at Sutherland in Scotland, it was announced on Monday.

It builds on awards of £2.5M to Highlands and Islands Enterprise to develop the Sutherland port and a £2m development fund for horizontal spaceports such as those planned in Cornwall, Glasgow Prestwick and Snowdonia.

Aecom global defence and international chief executive Dave Swindle said: “This is a very exciting time for the UK space sector and we admire the UK Government’s ambition and the approach it’s taking in creating a new commercial market. 

“It builds on the UK’s heritage in aerospace and space technologies and its ability to attract international interest and investment to its leading industries. 

“Aecom has been involved in the success of the United States’ space programme since its beginning and as a major corporation already working in this region, we are committed to bringing together our best resources to help maximise the success of this bold new programme for the UK.

“The establishment of this first vertical launch facility and the additional commitment to horizontal launch facilities at Prestwick and Newquay is a significant milestone and Aecom looks forward to being a part of the growing and profitable spaceflight industry in the United Kingdom.”

Government said it is the first step towards a potential Space Sector Deal and the development of a national space programme.

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