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Prestwick Airport hopes to be first UK commercial spaceport

This comes after the Space Industry Act received Royal Assent on Wednesday.

Airport: To offer orbital missions for satellite launches.
Airport: To offer orbital missions for satellite launches. Preswick Airport

Glasgow Prestwick Airport is hoping to become the first commercial spaceport in the UK and Europe.

This comes after the Space Industry Act received Royal Assent on Wednesday, paving the way for commercial UK space launches.

The airport is set to apply for a licence and aims to offer horizontal launches of orbital and sub-orbital missions for satellite launches, micro-gravity experiments and passenger spaceflight experiences.

Richard Jenner, director of Prestwick's Spaceport project, said he is confident that they can help the government meet its commitment to have space launch capability in the UK by 2020.

He said: "We are delighted the enabling legislation is being enacted. It is a very significant stage in the process.

"We have had a professional technical assessment of our infrastructure and facilities conducted by independent consultants and we confidently meet all the technical criteria set out by the department for transport.

"These include our favourable meteorological conditions, relatively clear airspace and excellent transport links, as well as our ability to meet the needs of industry with many aerospace businesses on our doorstep and the room on site to accommodate more.

"As such, we believe that our airport is able to move at pace with the legislative process equipping us to become the UK and Europe's first space launch site with minimal investment."

He added: "The space industry is predicted to be worth £400bn globally by 2030 and the UK aims to target 10% of that business by then.

"We are confident we can help the government to meet its commitment to have space launch capability in the UK by 2020.

"A UK Spaceport based in Prestwick would be an economic win for Scotland and the UK.

"Glasgow Prestwick Airport has a long history of being in the forefront of aviation and aerospace and we're really excited for this new opportunity to diversify and develop our business."

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