Europe’s First Spaceport For Commercial Spaceflight Is To Be Built By 2018
The US of America can be regarded as pioneer for opening the first spaceport in New Mexico, the respective government from the United Kingdom tries to move further ahead by backing up plans for the construction of their own spaceport.
The government support was made official after a three month consultation period involving major stakeholders like airport authorities, aviation companies and others. Major consultation was about how commercial spaceflights could be made operational in the UK and what are going to be the most feasible locations for their launch. With the consultation process over and the announced support by the state, plans are set to make Europe’s first spaceport fully functional by the year 2018.
Till now the proposed locations were a mystery but after the government voiced their backing it was revealed that the sites space tourists, and probable satellite launches, are going to come through are:
- Campletown, Glasgow Prestwick and Stornaway – all in Scotland
- Llanbedrin in north-west Wales
- Newquay in Cornwall
- RAF Leuchars, near Dundee, was also short-listed as a temporary site.
Work to identify these tentative locations was started 3 years back after Civil Aviation Authority released a requirements checklist for potential locations to fulfill.
The Government has tied a lot of expectations and hopes with the launching of the spaceport in 2018.
“Today’s consultation response marks another step forward in our work to support this emerging industry, which will create jobs and drive economic growth,” Vince Cable, the business minister, said. “Paving the way for a national spaceport is one of our biggest science achievements in this parliament. It greatly underscores the work of our space innovation and growth strategy to position the UK as a world leader in this exciting arena that is expected to be worth up to £400bn a year to the global economy by 2030.”
He added: “Launching satellites and operating commercial space flights from our shores was once only confined to the depths of science fiction, but with the results of this consultation we are one step closer to making this a very real ability in the near future.”
The Minister for Aviation, Robert Goodwill, also commented: “I want Britain to lead the way in commercial spaceflight. Establishing a spaceport will ensure we are at the forefront of this exciting new technology.”
With such a mammoth proposal to complete the spaceport by 2018, the government hopes to get a good number of fliers to use the spaceport. It is expected that companies like Virgin Galactic and competitor XCOR Aerospace would use the spaceport for their flight operations.