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08 Feb 2024

One small step closer: the UK's first fully licensed vertical spaceport

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In December 2023, the UK Civil Aviation Authority ("CAA") issued a vertical launch licence to the SaxaVord spaceport in Shetland. SaxaVord now holds the very first vertical launch licence in not only the UK but Western Europe as well. This is a significant achievement for both the CAA and the UK's nascent space industry, taking the UK one small step closer to its first vertical commercial rocket launch. This article takes a closer look at the route taken by SaxaVord to obtain its licence and the precise terms of that licence, before looking ahead to the next steps for the spaceport and for the UK's launch industry as a whole.

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Patrick Bettle

Patrick Bettle
Managing associate

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