Space centre plans Unst airfield regeneration

Shetland Space Centre (SSC) plans to regenerate the Ordale airfield at Baltasound in Unst.

SSC envisages the site as a “space industry hub”, which will be used for fuel and equipment storage, as well as housing small business incubators supporting spaceflight activity on the island.

The site, which is less than five kilometres from SSC’s proposed launch site at Lamba Ness, was first opened in 1968 and served fixed-wing and helicopter traffic for the North Sea oil and gas industry until 1996. It was used in 2019 for the test launch of a balloon by B2Space in conjunction with SSC.

SSC said it was an “important step” in attracting the international space industry to the isles.

The company intends to refurbish the airfield lighting system and hangar for clients to be able to use the 640-metre runway.

SSC chief executive Frank Strang said: “Without doubt having an airfield with associated infrastructure close to the launch site is a huge benefit to the embryonic Shetland space industry, and is another reason along with its location why Shetland is seen as the optimal place for vertical launch activity in the UK.

“The airfield will not be as busy as it was in the early 1990s, but this will be the first step towards bringing in limited commercial traffic.”


Add Your Comment
  • Jonathan Butt

    • March 24th, 2020 10:30

    With Homo sapiens now proven by science to be causing global climate change we do not need any more development with an end result that can only be detrimental to our planet

    • David Spence

      • March 24th, 2020 14:20

      aaahh but Jonathan, as long as the human made concept of money, followed by greed, will always take greater priority, the detrimental action against the environment and the planet will always take 2nd and 3rd place.

      Lets hope mother nature does not act in a manner where we reflect the consequences of our actions becoming too late before circumstances are there is nothing we can do to stop the impending calamity we ourselves have created.

      If it means the mass extinction of the human race, let mother nature takes her vengence to clean the planet for the sake of all life, and not just the life of one destructive living species.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 24th, 2020 17:52

    Homo Sapiens? Homo Stultus, perhaps.

  • john oakes

    • March 25th, 2020 17:01

    Ah I remember dear old Unst in 88-89 Wind Snow Blazing Sun Wind Rain Snow Bit of Sun Pitch Black Rain Wind Snow Some more Sun Wind Wind Wind 24 hour Sunlight Being Sloshed Rain Rain Sun Sun Snow. Not forgetting Howling Gales to many to count with my fingers and toes and tongue sticking out. Aye lovely place if your into Weather reporting. Oh nearly forgot we had calm days mainly Tuesday.


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