Report: UK Spaceport Competition Scrapped

UK_spaceport_candidates_shorterlistThe Herald reports the UK Department for Transport (DfT) has scrapped a competition to select a single spaceport in favor of a licensing process that would enable multiple locations to apply to host launches. The newspaper obtained a copy of a letter sent to spaceport competitors.

The letter, dated May 20 and signed by Michael Clark, DfT head of international aviation, safety and environment, and Catherine Mealing-Jones, director of growth at the UK Space Agency, states that the move will help create “viable business models at a range of locations”.

The letter states: “To avoid restricting the development of the UK market, the Government will create the regulatory conditions for any suitable location that wishes to become a spaceport, to take the opportunity to develop and attract commercial space business…

“The Government recognises the importance of industry working with operators to start spaceflight operations and we will work with operators to develop viable business models at a range of locations across the UK, rather than at any one single location.”

Five locations around the UK were in competition to become the location of the kingdom’s first spaceport.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has a licensing process for spaceports.