SaxaVord Spaceport clears penultimate planning hurdle
March 1 2022
Construction of the UK's first vertical launch spaceport is likely to begin later this month after planning consent for a £43m facility was granted by Shetland Islands Council (SIC).
Subject to final approval from the Scottish Government and the granting of a license from the Civil Aviation Authority SaxaVord UK Spaceport will comprise three launchpads at the Lamba Ness peninsula in Unst, each capable of propelling small satellites into orbit.
The privately funded venture would have capacity for up to 30 launches per year, the first of which could take to the skies as early as September should everything go according to plan.
SaxaVord Spaceport CEO, Frank Strang, said: “We will spend upwards of £43m over the next 18 months, rising to £100m in the next five years. We have already started blasting and crushing stone and are seeking to clarify the conditions imposed on the development by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), SIC and others as soon as possible."
Built top designs by Aecom the spaceport had been held up by HES over fears that the ruins of a WWII radar station might be damaged.
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