Spaceflight Regulatory Consultation

Space launch from UK soil moved closer to reality with the close of the Spaceport & Spaceflight Regulatory Consultation carried out by HMG.

During 2020, an initiative led by the Scottish Space Leadership Council’s newly formed UK Spaceport Alliance brought representatives from each of the UK’s developing launch sites together to compile a submission into the Consultation process, published at the end of July.

A set of workstreams led to collaborative research and discussion from a diverse cross0section of the UK sector around the proposed regulations. The SSLC workstreams covered the safety and environmental aspects of the launch process, alongside the responsibilities of the key players, while identifying the risks, liabilities and the insurance aspects and establishing best practice in concept of operations. 

The UK Spaceport Alliance and partners adopted a considered approach to providing the regulator with answers to the survey, as well as detailed proposals from space sector stakeholders across the UK industry relating to how the questions might be posed differently. The goal was to help the UK leverage this exciting opportunity to create sustainable, world class regulations for the launch of small satellites, thereby supporting the burgeoning UK commercial space sector to reach its full potential and enable a host of cross-sectoral benefits, contributing to economic growth and helping to monitor environmental change. 

The SSLC recognises the challenge faced by the regulator to create these rules for UK launch and has sought to actively demonstrate the critical role to be played by industry in assisting the development of this key piece of regulation.  

“We are extremely grateful for the time and effort invested by our members and the wider SSLC to enable us to share our feedback and recommendations in such a manner. What is more, we have received preliminary indication that this approach has been welcomed and recognised by the regulator. I have been very impressed by the spirit of collaboration across the spaceports Alliance and the broader UK space sector. There is a common understanding that a strong sectoral level will enable individual businesses to do well and that the UK working collaboratively can succeed in an intensely competitive international market.”  

John Innes, Chair of the UK Spaceports Alliance