Communications on potential use of satellite launch facilities: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

"Any documents detailing communications between members of the Scottish Government and the following agencies pertaining to potential use of the proposed satellite launch facility on the Melness Crofting Estate in Sutherland for defence, security or military purposes:

  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  •  Lockheed Martin
  • United Kingdom Space Agency
  • Ministry of Defence

Also I wanted to ask if the Scottish Government has held any discussions, either internally or externally, regarding defence usage of the site? If so I wish to request documents or minutes detailing these."


We appreciate the time taken to reduce the scope of your original request. This has allowed us to conduct a thorough and specific search of our systems with the aim of providing information relevant to your query.
On this occasion, we can confirm that our searches have identified one document that is within the scope of your request. This information has been provided in Annex B of this letter. Further information on the spaceport can be accessed at
You will note that certain information has been redacted and I can confirm that this has been done under Section 38 of FOISA. (Further information regarding this has been provided in Annex A).

Section 38(1)(b) – Personal data

This exemption applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, i.e. names and contact details, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI-202000028641 Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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