The Honourable Company of Air Pilots incorporating Air Navigators

Space Working Group



Space-based navigation, communications, timing and monitoring systems are an increasingly integral part of the aviation safety environment.  Aviation and other sectors, including national infrastructure resilience, are ever-more critically dependent on those capabilities and many of us will have an interest in the propulsion, materials and operational aspects of the rapidly expanding Space sector.   As part of that expansion, space-launch sites and operations are now spreading around the globe, including to the UK, so manned aviation will need increasingly to integrate safely and effectively not only with unmanned atmospheric aviation but also with space operations.   Our Space Working Group (SWG) formed with a first meeting in May 2020 where it was agreed the Group’s objectives and areas of interest should be as follows:

Space Working Group Objectives:

  • Research and collate any worldwide space news relevant to the aviation community, or with civilian spinoff application into the aviation industry;
  • Raise awareness of this news and disseminate it to both the internal audience of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, and to a wider external audience, through the Company Magazine, press releases and digital output;
  • Assist closer collaboration/dialogue between the defence and private sectors in space research;
  • Provide relevant space careers information to affiliated organizations and related STEM focused youth organizations.

Space Working Group Areas of Interest:

  • Technology:   1) Propulsion, 2) Navigation/computation, 3) Life support, 4) Materials science;
  • Operations:   1) Crew resource management, 2) Training, 3) Medical (although medical developments may fall into the first category);
  • Airspace/Regulation/Legal:   1) International regulation, 2) exo-atmospheric legal structures  3) integration of space launch & recovery with national airspace regulation and international conventions;
  • Applications outside of space:   Adjacencies into aviation being likely priority interest to members but not limited to that if of sufficient import;
  • Careers/Outreach:   The related incentives for aviation and space in encouraging the next generation of pilots, be it in atmospheric operations and/or even higher.

Space Working Group articles in Air Pilot  Magazine:



SpaceX Starlink Mission


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Questions/Queries/Comments? Feel free to get in touch with the SWG at