• Pre-application engagement

    We recommend that any prospective rocket operator reviews the information on these webpages and contacts the Spaceflight Team well in advance of planned activities for further discussion related to your specific operation.

    The purpose of this pre-application engagement is twofold:

    • to understand the proposed activities of operators before they submit a full application, and, where possible, to advise them on what modifications would be required to bring their proposed mission in line with the requirements for receiving an ANO permission from the CAA
    • where possible, to provide a smoother, more tailored application process that is more proportionate to the scale and risks of a particular mission type

    Please contact the CAA Spaceflight Team to begin pre-application engagement.


  • The CAA issues commercial and large rocket permissions under the Air Navigation Order.

    See Section 96 of the Air Navigation Order for details.

    The nature of proposed activities will determine the permission types the operator must obtain from the CAA. We recommend any prospective rocket operator contact the Spaceflight Team to carry out pre-application engagement well in advance of planned activities for further discussion related to your specific operation.

    Spaceflight activities not capable of exceeding the stratosphere

    The criteria that determine the type(s) of permission required for spaceflight activities not capable of exceeding the stratosphere (circa 50km) are:

  • Spaceflight activities using rockets with motors of up to 160 Ns total combined impulse do not need CAA permission, regardless of whether these are of a commercial nature as defined in section 7 of the Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016.

    Commercial flights

    Spaceflight activities of a commercial nature as defined in section 7 of the Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016 using rockets with motors of greater than 160 Ns but less than 10,240 Ns total combined impulse need:

    Non-commercial flights

    Spaceflight activities of a non-commercial nature using rockets with motors of greater than 160 Ns but less than 10,240 Ns total combined impulse need:

    All non-military rockets with a total combined motor impulse of greater than 10,240 Newton-seconds must receive a Large Rocket permission from the CAA, prior to commencing operations.

    We recommend any prospective rocket operator reviews these webpages and contacts the Spaceflight Team for pre-application engagement well in advance of planned activities, for further discussion related to your specific operation.

    Commercial flights

    Additionally, spaceflight activities of a commercial nature as defined in section 7 of the Air Navigation Order (ANO) 2016 using rockets with greater than 10,240 Ns total combined impulse need:

     

  • Spaceflight activities above the stratosphere

    The intention is that, once commenced, any launch activity of a vehicle that is capable of operating above the stratosphere (circa 50km altitude) will be regulated under the Space Industry Act 2018. 

    Information on the future licensing regime under the Space Industry Act

    Prior to the Space Industry Act 2018 coming into force, please contact the Spaceflight Team.

    Contact us

    If you have any queries or would like to know more about the CAA’s spaceflight regulatory regime, please contact the Spaceflight Team.