We say it is the next step for our tourism industry in the county, others say it’s a step too far away from Cornwall’s picture postcard image
We see the building of the UK Spaceport as a great benefit to Newquay in particular and Cornwall as a whole. The initial construction would be a substantial building project and once built it would create well paid jobs in many cutting edge technologies. It has been said that it is selling the soul of Cornwall for ‘Pie in the Sky’ and for the sake of a few million pound executives ten minutes in space. As with all pioneering technologies the initial costs are high and only available to the few. The same was true of the now everyday transport of Ocean Liners, Trains and Air travel. This is not space travel of 60’s and 70’s with its high risk, this is a business. People are paying a lot of money to go up, then back down down, safely. This is cutting edge technology with years of testing and development. From clean burn rocketry, super efficient jet propulsion and some remarkable airframe composites. It is designed to be safer than air travel and the beginning of the next generation of air transport. For Newquay and Cornwall to be part of this from the beginning would a fantastic achievement.
Space is a very captivating concept for many and if the Spaceport is designed correctly it will be as much a tourist attraction in itself and not just for the trips it offers. Sightseers, families visiting with the space bound few, families visiting employees and those drawn by the inevitable publicity would re-invigorate the regions tourism economy. As history shows us to be in at the beginning always pays off. It is estimated space tourism, space transport, satellite development and various other space inspired technologies will become multi-billion pound industries. Even part of that revenue would add significantly to Cornwall’s economy. Newquay airport is already a Aerohub business zone and is licensed for rocket testing. Newquay and Cornwall already have a well established tourism infrastructure. Space tourism in Cornwall would appear a very logical next step in the regions economic regeneration and tourism development.
It would bring some noise and disruption to those living locally and would probably bring some level of additional pollution. It should be noted, however, that the site was a fully functional RAF and US Air Force base less than a decade ago. It has therefore experienced much higher levels of activity in its past compared to the current dormant state. If the Spaceport had been proposed to replace the day and night military activities of ten years ago with just occasional flights of space vehicles I think the local opinion may have been very different.