Have your say on the Space Industry Bill

17 January 2018

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Space Industry [Lords] Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.

The Committee will first meet on Tuesday 23 January 2018. It will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 5.00pm on Tuesday 30 January 2018. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 30 January 2018.*

 

* In the last Parliamentary Session, the following Public Bill Committees concluded their consideration of the Bill earlier than scheduled: Criminal Finances, Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts), Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs), Neighbourhood Planning, Savings (Government Contributions), Technical and Further Education, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Children & Social Work, National Citizen Service, and Bus Services.

Aims of the Bill

The UK Government has an ambition for the UK to be a leading player in the global space industry. The decreasing cost of launching small satellites is greatly increasing the application and use of satellite data, adding value to many sectors and industries. Further, commercial space travel and space tourism are becoming real future possibilities. Currently, the Government considers that neither international aviation law nor space law are suitable to cover the risks to safety and security posed by commercial spaceflight activities in the UK.

The Space Industry Bill intends to create a regulatory framework for the expansion of commercial space activities and the development of a UK space port. The Bill intends to cover both orbital and sub-orbital activities, and horizontal and vertical launches carried out in the UK.

The Bill:

  • Creates a framework for the regulation of spaceflight activities in the UK in line with the UK’s international obligations;
  • Establishes a system of licencing for UK space activities;
  • Creates powers for the Secretary of State to appoint a regulator(s). The regulator’s primary objective is to ensure public safety;
  • Creates a framework for establishing safety, training and informed consent requirements for individuals participating spaceflight activities;
  • Creates a framework to establish a launch site in the UK, including creating powers for the Secretary of State to make orders over land;
  • Creates a framework for liability, indemnities and insurance for UK space activities;
  • Creates new offences and applies existing UK criminal law to space activities

The Bill extends to the whole of the UK except for a number of provisions listed in clause 70 which do not apply to or only apply to Northern Ireland.

Follow the progress of the Space Industry [Lords] Bill

The Bill completed it stages in the House of Lords on 28 November 2017 and had First Reading in the House of Commons on the 29 November. The Bill had its Second Reading in the House of Commons on Monday 15 January 2018.

This Bill has now been committed to a Public Bill Committee which will meet for the first time on Tuesday 23 January 2018.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

Deadline for written evidence submissions

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration, and possibly reflect it in an amendment. The order in which amendments are taken in Committee will be available in due course under Selection of Amendments on the Bill documents pages. Once the Committee has dealt with an amendment it will not revisit it.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 23 January 2018; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Tuesday 30 January 2018. Please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 30 January 2018.

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk.

Further guidance on submitting written evidence can be found here.

Image: iStockphoto

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