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UK Civil Aviation Regulations

These are published by the CAA on our UK Regulations pages. EU Regulations and EASA Access Guides published by EASA no longer apply in the UK. Our website and publications are being reviewed to update all references. Any references to EU law and EASA Access guides should be disregarded and where applicable the equivalent UK versions referred to instead.

Spaceport licences allow a person or organisation to operate a spaceport, they are granted under the Space Industry Act 2018 (SIA).

Spaceports are sites where:

  • spacecraft can be vertically launched.
  • horizontal launches of spaceplanes or carrier aircraft, from which a spacecraft will be launched at altitude (known as air launch), can take place.
  • launches of high-altitude balloons for space experience, experiments or air launch of rockets can take place.
  • spacecraft can make a planned landing.

How do I apply?

We encourage you to speak to us before you apply. You can book a pre-application meeting; to discuss your proposed operation and timescales. During pre-application we can advise on the detail of the SIA and discuss the requirements you need to fulfil as part of your application. We also offer workshops to look at the requirements of a safety case and assessment of environmental effects in more detail.

You should read the guidance for Spaceport licence applicants and Spaceport licensees and applying for a licence under the space industry act 2018.

To apply please complete our online application form

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How much does it cost?

There is no charge for a spaceport operator licence.

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What do I need to send with my application?

As part of your application, you will need to provide:

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What else do I need to know?

In addition to safety and environment we assess your application against five other legislative tests:

  • international obligations
  • national security
  • national interest
  • financial resources
  • fit and proper persons

Information on the details you will need to provide to enable us to assess your application against these tests is set out in Tables A, E and G in the Regulator's Licensing Rules.

You can find even more information on our guidance and resources page.

Airspace change

If your operation might affect other airspace users you may to need to apply for a permanent airspace change, temporary restriction or Temporary Danger Area.

You should be aware that it could take longer to successfully apply for an airspace change or restriction than for the space licence itself.

The process to apply for an airspace change is managed by the CAA’s Airspace Regulation Team and is set out in more detail in CAP1616 Airspace change guidance.

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What happens next?

  • You will be assigned a case manager who will be your main point of contact through the assessment and be with you every step of the way.
  • We complete an initial screen of your application documents to make sure you have provided everything we need to carry out our assessment.
  • When we have all the documents, we need we will assess your application in detail. When we have further questions for you, our regulatory ‘clock’ will stop on the assessment until you provide the information required for us to continue.
  • Any licence we grant will include conditions with which you must comply. To show compliance, you may need to send us information for example, details of any tests or rehearsals you conduct. We may also choose to carry out inspections of your sites.
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How long is it valid for?

Your licence will not expire but can be revoked, varied or suspended by the CAA.

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