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.
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.
To apply please complete our online application form.
As part of your application, you will need to provide:
- a siting assessment.
- a safety case that shows you have identified your risks and you have a plan in place to reduce them to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).
- an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE), suitable for public consultation, that shows you have considered any potential environmental effects of your activities.
- a draft security programme and cyber security strategy with security/cyber risk assessments.
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.
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.
Once we receive your application, it will take at least 9 months to assess.
- 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.