PRESTWICK Airport will apply for a licence to become a spaceport - after annoucements in last weeks Queen's Speech.

The UK Government will now seek to establish a licensing system through which suitable sites can apply for a Spaceport licence rather than choose one site from their shortlist.

The decision, which will enable any suitable location to develop as a Spaceport, effectively gives Prestwick the green light to forge ahead with its ambitious plans.

MP for the area Dr Philippa Whitford said: “This is fantastic news for Prestwick.

"While I have been working hard to promote Prestwick as the ideal site for the UK’s first Spaceport, I have also been calling for a licensing system to enable more than one site to develop in what is a fast growing industry rather than have them all compete for one prize.

“This was the main thrust of the motion I put before the House when I secured a debate on the UK Space industry in January.

"I am utterly delighted to hear that the Government has abandoned their long held plan of a competition and is instead planning to establish Space Launch licenses.

“Prestwick Airport is ideally suited to housing a Spaceport with its long runway, clear weather, good transport links and Air Traffic Control on site."