A planning request has been formally submitted by the South Ayrshire Council which could see satellites launched from Prestwick Airport.
The proposed Notice of Application is the first step in the Prestwick Spaceport planning process and signals the intention to apply for a building permit in early 2022.
This follows the council’s submission of an environmental impact assessment last year which confirmed that the spaceport “will not cause any significant adverse effects on the environment.”
If the building permit gets the green light from advisers, horizontal launches will take place from Prestwick, which will be the only place in Europe that can do so by the end of 2023.
The spaceport has signed a memorandum of understanding with the satellite delivery company Astraius.
Astraius will launch rockets from standard transport planes and be able to place small satellites, such as shoebox-sized CubeSats, in various orbits.
These small satellites can be used for a multitude of applications, such as monitoring climate change or tracking food supply chains.
Prestwick aims to complete its first rocket launch by the end of 2023, a goal backed by the Ayrshire Growth Deal, a multi-million pound funding that was signed last year.
The spaceport will hold a public consultation on the proposed developments and allow people to give their opinions at events to be held in February and March.
Councilor Peter Henderson, Head of South Ayrshire Council, commented: “Prestwick Spaceport has taken another step forward by filing a POAN for its development.
“By finding a launch partner and starting the planning process, South Ayrshire is on the way to establishing Prestwick Spaceport and securing an exciting future for our local communities and making South Ayrshire part of the global space economy. . “
Zoe Kilpatrick, Glasgow Prestwick Airport Commercial Director, said: “We are building an industry in Ayrshire which will create jobs and investment for years to come.
“2022 will see new developments as we partner with more organizations to develop and expand our space capabilities here at Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
“This is a very exciting time to be part of the project and I look forward to seeing the progress made over the next few months as we approach our first launch in 2023.”
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