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Scottish spaceport gets planning permission

March 2, 2022

By Chris Forrester

A planned spaceport in Unst, Shetland, in the far North of the UK, has received planning permission to go ahead.

Shetland Islands Council says work to prepare the Saxavord Spaceport can proceed provided Scottish ministers don’t call the project in for further review. Three rocket pads would be built at the Lamba Ness peninsula in Unst, Shetland.

The plan is that the first launch of what’s likely to be a meteorological satellite could occur before the year’s end. However, both Saxavord itself and the rocket company expected to send up the spacecraft will first need a licence from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Saxavord Spaceport CEO Frank Strang described the planning approval as a “huge tipping point in our evolution. This is such a big day for us.”

“We’ve been on this journey for five years. We’ve had to overcome all sorts of obstacles, and I take great pride in this team. Until we got that planning permission, nobody was really going to take us seriously and we can now really charge on,” he told BBC News.

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