Fresh from securing planning permission, SaxaVord UK Spaceport has formally submitted its Spaceport and Range Licence applications this week to the industry regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Image courtesy SaxaVord
Once regulatory approval has been granted, Westminster and Holyrood will be one step closer to achieving their ambition of orbital launch from the UK by the end of this year.
Frank Strang, CEO of SaxaVord Spaceport, said: "Our operations team have been working extremely hard on multiple fronts over the last two years to ensure that all the pieces of a very complicated jigsaw were prepared so we could hit the ground running as we started the year.
“Our licence applications mark the next milestone in our ambition to become the first orbital launch site in the UK. Our applications will now be assessed and evaluated by the CAA, a process which will take at least six months.
“The beginning of 2022 has already been significant for our team and for Shetland, with the approval of our planning permission. I am confident that the end of the year will be equally momentous for us and the UK vertical launch industry."
SaxaVord Spaceport (SaxaVord) is the UK’s first vertical satellite launch facility and ground station located at Lamba Ness in Unst, Shetland. Given Unst is the UK’s highest point of latitude, SaxaVord offers customers a geographic competitive advantage enabling unrivalled payloads per satellite, launch site operations, a network of ground stations, as well as in-orbit data collection and analysis. SaxaVord has received endorsement from the UK Space Agency’s (UKSA) Sceptre Report and formed industry-leading partnerships. It has also been chosen to host the UKSA’s UK Pathfinder launch, which will be delivered by Lockheed Martin and ABL Systems, in 2022.
Integral to the UK’s space economy ambitions, SaxaVord is building a highly skilled workforce, championing STEM education and supporting the economic regeneration of Shetland.