South Ayrshire Council and partners at Glasgow Prestwick Airport have welcomed UK Space Agency (UKSA) support for plans to develop the airport into one of the UK’s three horizontal space launch sites.
The Space Agency has already confirmed that Sutherland will be the UK’s first vertical spaceport, and horizontal space launch from Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport could also become a reality.
The Scottish Government is keen to exploit the opportunities arising from the massive expansion in demand for small satellite launch and related space activity and UKSA is establishing a £2m fund to help the three UK horizontal sites develop the market.
Councillor Douglas Campbell, leader of South Ayrshire Council, said, “This is great news for the UK space industry and we’re already in contact with colleagues in Sutherland to help support the development of their launch site.
“Prestwick is still the most advanced site currently in the running for the UK’s first horizontal space launch and we’ll seek to use the development fund to cement our position.”
The spaceport project at Prestwick is an integral part of the Ayrshire Growth Deal and is expected to help attract new investment to the aerospace cluster located around the airport, safeguarding existing jobs and creating many new ones.
Stewart Adams, chief executive of Glasgow Prestwick Airport, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support we have from South Ayrshire Council and look forward to our continued collaboration with them and our other partners as we look to successfully deliver on our joint vision - a vision that places Glasgow Prestwick Spaceport as a centre of excellence for the space and aerospace industries.
“We will be having further discussions with all our stakeholders to review our strategy and how to take our plans forward in light of the additional funding available. We will also be talking to potential customers and launch partners willing to support operations at Prestwick.”