Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space welcomes Chancellor’s announcement on National Space Technology Programme

• £10m National Space Technology Programme will drive innovation

• Industry backs proposed changes to space laws for the UK to put Britain on an equal footing with other space nations

Portsmouth, 23 March 2011 – Airbus Defence and Space, Europe’s leading space company, has welcomed the UK Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement in today’s Budget for a new £10m National Space Technology Programme and regulation changes to UK space law.

Colin Paynter, Airbus Defence and Space 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.

“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 states: “the UK space industry recorded a total space-related turnover of over £7.5 billion in 2008/09” and “this represented a real growth of 8% between 2007/08 and 2008/09, and by 21% since 2006/07 (the year covered by the previous survey) – an average annual growth rate of 10.2%. Together these growth rates suggest that the UK space industry has performed extremely well in difficult economic circumstances.”


About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services.

In 2010, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €5 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment, and Airbus Defence and Space for comprehensive end-to-end solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, bespoke geo-information and navigation services worldwide.

AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2010, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 45.8 billion and employed a workforce of nearly 122,000.


Press contacts:

Daniel Mosely (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                                  Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 8180

Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                                  Tel.: +44 (0)7766 536572