Brendan O’Hara – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Brendan O’Hara on 2016-02-29.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government plans to take to mitigate the costs of and time taken for International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) applications related to the UK spaceport in order to facilitate investment and involvement from the US; and what steps the Government is taking to work with the US to ensure that ITAR is applied in a way that precludes a need for multiple applications to be made for discrete systems and single vehicle types.

Mr Robert Goodwill

The 2014 Government Spaceplane Review provided the groundwork for enabling spaceplane operations from the UK, including identifying key criteria for locating a UK spaceport, and identifying potential locations based on these. The Government tested the conclusions of this review through consultation and published its response in March 2015. This confirmed Campbeltown, Glasgow Prestwick and Stornoway in Scotland, Llanbedr Airfield in Wales and Newquay in England as potential spaceport locations.

Further information on the Spaceplane review and the Government consultation can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/spaceport-locations-and-criteria

Commercial spaceflight is a complex, international, and evolving market. The Government is considering a range of options on next steps that would best deliver our ambition of a spaceport, and the supporting regulatory environment for spaceflight, within this Parliament.

The Government is in discussion with the US Government on ITAR-related issues. However, ITAR applications are not a factor at this stage for potential spaceport locations but may become so if a US spaceplane operator seeks to operate from the UK.