• Securing public safety lies at the heart of the Space Industry Act 2018.  

    If you are applying for a launch or return operator licence or a spaceport licence you must include a safety case with your licence application.  

    Range control service providers do not need to provide a safety case as they are part of the risk mitigation for space flight. 

    Your safety case is your opportunity to demonstrate to us that:

    • You have systematically identified the major accident hazards associated with your planned activities. You must take account of interactions with other licence holders, human factors, and physical and cyber security 
    • You used an appropriate methodology to assess the resulting risks to people and property. In some instances, you will need to carry of a quantified risk assessment
    • You have acted on the findings by putting in place appropriate risk control and mitigation measures.  These measures may be technical, operational and/or organisational
    • You have set performance standards so that you can be confident that your risk control and mitigation measures are working and remain effective over time

    For further guidance of the minimum information to be included in your safety case please refer to the legislation and supporting guidance.

    Once your safety case has been accepted by us you must meet the standards set out in your safety case.  You will need to keep your safety case under review and update us on any material changes. 

    Demonstrating ALARP

    Your safety case must include a written demonstration of how you have managed the risk to people and property to as low as reasonably practicable. 

    In simple terms, this means showing that throughout the development of the project you have asked yourself the following questions

    • What more can we do to reduce the risk?  This is often done as part of the hazard identification process.
    • Why are we not doing it? You will need to evaluate the potential risk reduction measures – are they practical (does the technology exist), do they simply transfer risk rather than reduce it? Cost benefit analysis can help make an informed choice between risk reduction options. Proposed risk reduction measures must be implemented if the sacrifice (in money, time, trouble) is not grossly disproportionate to the risk. 

      For further advice on how we consider assessing ALARP demonstrations and make judgement on “acceptable risk” please refer to ALARP acceptability policy. 

      Health and safety

      In addition to the requirement to demonstrate how risk has been managed under the SIA, applicants should consider whether any health and safety legislation applies. We recommend you review the following Health & Safety Executive guidance:
      1. Understanding how to assess and control risks in the workplace and comply with health and safety law
      2. Understanding hazardous substance consents
      3. Understanding control of major accident hazards (COMAH)
      4. Understanding explosives in health and safety