Glasgow Prestwick Airport has been shortlisted by the UK government as a location for the country’s first spaceport, the gateway handled 10,337 tonnes of cargo in 2014.
Prestwick was bought by the Scottish government for £1 ($1.54) in November 2013, after making a £21.4 million loss that year. Airlines and other companies which use Prestwick include Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo, Antonov Airlines and Air Charter Service. Antonov Airlines has transported satellites to launch sites.
The UK Space Agency says a spaceport specification will be published this year for a final selection process. According to the government, tourists and small satellites could be launched from a UK spaceport from 2018. A possible tenant is Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space tourism business. In June 2012, Virgin Galactic Cargo was touted.
The shortlist of potential spaceport sites includes, Scotland’s Campbeltown Airport, England’s south coast Newquay Cornwall Airport and Wales’ Llanbedr Airport.