Aviation News

September 30, 2010

FAA to Shell Out Cash for Spaceport Infrastructure

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By: BNO News
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday announced a new grant program for projects related to the development and expansion of commercial space transportation infrastructure.

The Space Transportation Infrastructure Matching Grants will be awarded to four projects in Alaska, California, Florida and New Mexico. These funds represent the first-ever spaceport grants for enhancing commercial space activities. FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation will manage the announced grants.

“The Obama administration is committed to making sure the United States remains the world leader in space development and exploration. This new grant program underscores that commitment, and will help ensure that the commercial space industry can meet our current and future space transportation needs,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.

The first matching grants include $43,000 for the New Mexico Spaceport Authority to provide an automated weather observing system; $227,195 to Alaska Aerospace for a rocket motor storage facility; $125,000 to the East Kern Airport District in Mojave, for an emergency response vehicle; and, $104,805 to the Jacksonville Airport Authority in Florida to develop a spaceport master plan.

In June, President Obama unveiled a new National Space Policy that recognizes opportunities and advancements in commercial space capabilities. The law specifies ways for the government to make use of commercial capabilities.

Under the new law, the FAA is able to provide matching funds for specific projects being carried out by public entities involved in commercial space activities.