In the Queen’s Speech yesterday the government announced it will introduce a Modern Transport Bill to put the UK at the forefront of modern global transport developments – including in drones, satellites and commercial spaceflight.

The Bill will include measures to: enable the future development of the UK’s first commercial spaceport; bring safe commercial and personal drone flight for households and businesses a step closer; encourage potential investors in autonomous vehicles, spaceplane operations and spaceports; and ensure appropriate insurance is available to support the use of autonomous vehicles.

The Bill will set the framework for the UK’s first spaceport, which will ensure the UK is a global leader for low-cost access to space. The announcement recognises the UK’s expertise in the small satellite market as well as the long-term potential for sub-orbital intercontinental passenger travel. By 2030, the commercial spaceport could be worth an additional £4bn per year to the UK’s Space sector.

The global market for drone technology is also growing rapidly and the proposed legislation should help ensure that drones are operated safely and that UK companies are at the forefront of their future development and integration into UK airspace.

The UK has world-class expertise in aerospace, autonomy and space technologies. The Modern Transport Bill should seek to encourage further investment in the UK and boost the high value, long-term jobs available in these important and growing global markets.

Her Majesty The Queen opened her speech by emphasising the government’s focus on strengthening the UK’s economic and national security:

“My Government will use the opportunity of a strengthening economy to deliver security for working people, to increase life chances for the most disadvantaged and to strengthen national defences.”

The UK’s Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries have a vital role to play; safeguarding national security and generating economic prosperity by delivering the well-paid jobs and high-tech exports we need to secure a prosperous future.