HC Deb 27 November 2001 vol 375 c788W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her policy is on(a) the location and movement of satellites and (b) the movement of spacecraft; and if she will make a statement. [17431]

Ms Hewitt

The launching and operation of satellites by United Kingdom nationals is governed by the Outer Space Act 1986 which introduced a licensing regime for the activities of launching and operating a space object and for any activity in outer space. UK nationals wishing to carry out such launch and movement activities must apply to my Department for a licence. I have discretion as to whether to grant a licence and on the conditions to which a licence should be made subject, but before granting a licence I must be satisfied that the activities (i) will not jeopardise public health or the safety of persons or property, (ii) will be consistent with the international obligations of the UK, and (iii) will not impair national security. Satellites are also subject to International Telecommunications Union (ITU) regulations and procedures in respect of the orbital locations and frequencies used.