You must have a licence to operate a launch facility in Australia. A launch facility licence authorises the use of a specifically designed and constructed facility to launch space objects.

You can be authorised to operate a facility at a fixed location, or a mobile facility across more than one site.

Launch facility licence application guidelines

The following guidelines provide detailed information on how to apply for a launch facility licence, including application and supporting evidence requirements.

Launch facility licence application guidelines [PDF 663 KB]

Launch facility Licence application guidelines [DOCX 447 KB]

 

Application overview:

 

The application process consists of four key stages:

1. Expression of interest

2. Application plan workshop

3. Application assessment

4. Ministerial decision.

Application process stages

 

Expression of interest

You submit an expression of interest form through the Regulatory Applications Hub.

We’ll review your expression of interest and then schedule an application plan workshop once we have sufficient information to proceed.

NOTE: initiating your expression of interest is not an application submission, you will need to provide further documents

Application plan workshop

During this workshop we:

  • establish the status of your application
  • develop a shared understanding of application requirements that need to be met.
  • set and agree application and assessment timeframes.
  • clarify roles and responsibilities.
  • establish principles for how we engage throughout the application and assessment process.

After the workshop we will provide you with a copy of a customised form and an application plan which will help guide you through the remaining stages of the application process.

Application assessment

You provide completed modules in line with your application plan. All documents need to be uploaded to the corresponding application in the Regulatory Applications Hub. 

We commence assessment of your modules, meet with you to clarify information, and provide feedback on progress.

We will consult with federal, state and territory authorities to see if there is any reason, including relating to Australian security, defence, or international relations, why a launch facility licence should not be granted.

We then make recommendations to the Minister (or their delegate).

Ministerial decision

The Minister (or delegate) decides whether to grant the launch facility licence, taking into consideration advice from the Agency.

The Minister has discretion to seek further information from applicants and launch facility licence holders.

Before you apply, download and read the launch facility licence application guidelines.

You should then complete and submit an expression of interest form through the Regulatory Applications Hub, providing supporting materials demonstrating your progress against the application requirements.

Once we receive your expression of interest, we will contact you to discuss your application and schedule an application plan workshop once we have sufficient information. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your plans and have any questions answered. We can also provide more information about the application and assessment process.

There are no fees for applying for a launch facility licence, or for having your application assessed.

Your application must satisfy the Minister that:

  • you are competent to operate the launch facility
  • you have obtained all necessary environmental approvals under Australian law, and you have an adequate environmental plan for constructing and operating the facility
  • you have sufficient funding to construct and operate the facility
  • the probability that the construction and operation of the launch facility will cause substantial harm to public health or safety, or cause substantial damage to property is as low as is reasonably practicable
  • the design and construction of the launch facility is as effective and safe as is reasonably practicable, having regard to the proposed use of the facility
  • there are no reasons relating to Australia’s security, defence or international relations why the launch facility licence should not be granted.

Your application needs to include relevant materials – such as plans, procedures and diagrams – that support your statements against the requirements.

Application materials should be robust, sufficiently detailed and appropriate for the scope and complexity of your proposed activity.

It generally takes around 6 months to assess a launch facility licence application. We’ll discuss timelines with you and agree on these as part of your application plan workshop.

Following the workshop we provide an assessment plan that will clearly outline these timeframes to help guide you through the application and assessment process.

If information is missing, inaccurate, or lacks sufficient detail we will discuss with you and agree timeframes to submit additional information. This may impact overall assessment timeframes.

Apply for a launch facility licence

The following guidelines provide detailed information on how to apply for a launch facility licence, including application and supporting evidence requirements.

Our department recognises the First Peoples of this Nation and their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to the lands, waters, seas, skies, and communities.

We Acknowledge First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Custodians and Lore Keepers of the oldest living culture and pay respects to their Elders past and present. We extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.