The UK Civil Aviation Authority has launched a consultation to seek views on SaxaVord’s assessment of environmental effects for its proposed spaceport located in the Shetland Islands.
As part of licence applications, organisations have to submit an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) for public consultation to the space regulator.
Committed to helping drive forward the UK space sector, the opening of this consultation comes as the UK Civil Aviation Authority continues to assess a range of applications from the space industry to determine if they meet the safety, security and environmental requirements for granting a licence for UK launch.
The assessment gives SaxaVord the opportunity to present its considerations of all environmental effects and demonstrate measures it will take to avoid, mitigate, or offset any significant risks.
SaxaVord plans to operate a spaceport at Lamba Ness peninsula on Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Islands. If the licence application is successful, it brings the possibility of space launch from Scottish soil.
Colin Macleod, Head of UK Space Regulation for the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:
“Reviewing the environmental impacts of a launch is crucial in protecting the local area in these types of activities, and those local to the area are the best placed to inform us of the potential impacts of such an undertaking.
“We encourage all members of the public directly affected by the proposed spaceport, be they individuals or groups, to engage with this consultation.”
Frank Strang, CEO of SaxaVord Spaceport, said:
"It is in our DNA at SaxaVord to take our obligations to the environment very seriously, underlined by the fact that to the best of my knowledge we are the only spaceport in Scotland that employs a full-time Sustainability Officer.
"Through the CAA’s consultation we will welcome constructive comments on how to improve the mitigation of our environmental impacts.”
The consultation will run for 28 days from Thursday 10 November until Thursday 8 December. All comments must be received before the consultation closes to ensure they will be considered.
The consultation can be found here.