Commercial space transportation is a rapidly growing sector with innovative solutions such as spaceplanes enabling low cost access to space. However, whilst safety remains of primary importance, space flight nevertheless is an activity which presents higher risk levels than conventional aviation.
Several organisations have expressed an interest in carrying out sub-orbital space flights from the UK. These would be for spaceflight experience and the carriage of scientific payloads. There is also the opportunity for the launch of satellites from an airborne platform.
As part of the 2017 Queens Speech to Parliament, the Government will use the Spaceflight Bill to introduce primary, and its associated secondary legislation to facilitate space launch activity from the UK. The Government has tasked the CAA (under section 16 of the Civil Aviation Act) with providing technical and legal support for the Bill and with developing the regulatory frameworks under which UK spaceflight operations will take place. The priority of these frameworks will be to protect the safety of the uninvolved general public.
To have the required regulatory frameworks in place, accepted by government and supported by the appropriate legal instruments, to enable initial spaceflight operations to commence in the UK by 2020.
Provide technical and legal expertise to Government as part of the development process for the Spaceflight Bill and associated secondary legislation.
Develop the required regulatory frameworks in accordance with programme plans agreed with Government. This work is being done in partnership with key national and international regulatory and industry stakeholders.