March 25th, 2011
Astrium... Money + Regulatory Changes Will Make A Difference (Regulation)
Astrium has welcomed the UK Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement in the just released Budget for a new 10 million pounds National Space Technology Programme and regulation changes to UK space law. Colin Paynter, Astrium UK’s CEO, said, “I would like to congratulate the Government on the creation of a National Space Technology Programme – which was one of the key recommendations in the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS) and will play a vital part in continuing to drive innovation in Britain’s thriving space industry. This additional money will be matched by industry investment and shows a real commitment to growth within the sector. I also welcome the Chancellor’s announcements on regulatory changes to space laws which will help put us on a much more even footing with other space nations around the world. Removing the uncapped liability on UK space assets contained in the current Outer Space Act will remove a significant hurdle and we hope will encourage satellite operators to develop and even relocate to Great Britain. In addition, the move to draw up a comprehensive regulatory framework to bridge the legal gap between areas covered by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Outer Space Act should assist moves to develop launch capability and facilities in the UK.
Mr. Paynter added, “I am also encouraged by the statement on developing an internationally consistent approach on filings for orbital slots in orbit. There has been much discussion in the space community that ‘paper filings’ by organisations who reserve orbital slots with little intention of ever launching a satellite have impeded the development of even more innovative space services. A move to resolve this situation will make it easier for new entrants to the satellite services marketplace – which could greatly benefit the UK.”
The latest “Size and Health of the UK Space Industry” published by the UK Space Agency in November 2010, stated, “the UK space industry recorded a total space-related turnover of over 7.5 billion pounds in 2008/09” and “this represented a real growth of 8 percent between 2007/08 and 2008/09, and by 21 percent since 2006/07 (the year covered by the previous survey) – an average annual growth rate of 10.2 percent. Together these growth rates suggest that the UK space industry has performed extremely well in difficult economic circumstances.”