We use necessary cookies to make our website work. We'd also like to use optional analytics cookies to help us improve it.
For more information, please read our cookie policy.

UK – EU Transition, and UK Civil Aviation Regulations

To access current UK civil aviation regulations, including AMC and GM, CAA regulatory documents, please use this link to UK Regulation. Please note, if you use information and guidance under the Headings below, the references to EU regulations or EU websites in our guidance will not be an accurate information or description of your obligations under UK law. These pages are undergoing reviews and updates.

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.

Spaceflight Operator Licence Holders

Once licensed, spaceflight operators must meet the requirements of Space Industry Regulations Part 8 Chapter 1 to 4.

  • ensure that licensed activities are carried out safely in accordance with the current safety case
  • retain, review, and revise the safety case on an ongoing basis
  • have in place a safety management system that meets the requirements in SIR Schedule 4
  • ensure the requirements of specific safety roles are met
  • maintain and update the safety operations manual and ensure that operating staff follow the relevant provisions
  • ensure preparations for launch, return and other operations are conducted
  • ensure conditions for commencing spaceflight activities are met including monitoring requirements
  • record and retain information for safety purposes
  • have in place, and maintain, an emergency response plan for the spaceport

Additional requirements apply to human spaceflight activity. These are set out in Space Industry Regulations Part 8 Chapter 5

Spaceport Licence Holders

Once licenced, a spaceport must meet the requirements of SIR Part 10

  • Ensure that licensed activities are carried out safely in accordance with the current safety case
  • retain, review, and revise the safety case on an ongoing basis
  • put in place, promulgate, and monitor an appropriate safety clear zone (where required by the safety case)
  • designate and maintain appropriate areas for the safe storage of any hazardous material and the conduct of static engine or other tests
  • have in place a safety management system that meets the requirements in SIR Schedule 4
  • produce and make available to all spaceport operating staff a spaceport manual
  • have in place, and maintain, an emergency response plan for the spaceport
  • ensure that rescue and firefighting personnel, facilities and equipment are provided at the spaceport in a timely manner

Health and safety

In addition to the requirement to demonstrate how risk has been managed under the SIA, applicants and licence holders 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

Provide page feedback

Please enter your comments below, or use our usual service contacts if a specific matter requires an answer.

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

Latest from UK Civil Aviation Authority

  1. Continued focus on change for GA Team
  2. Virtual aviation work experience partnership with Springpod
  3. Helicopter pilot sentenced for forging licence

View all latest news