Contact: Lauren Laake (832) 393-3008
Federal Aviation Administration Grants License for Houston Spaceport
Houston, TX - Yesterday, the City of Houston and the Houston Airport System (HAS) announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted the city a Launch Site License that enables Ellington Airport (EFD) to establish itself as a launch site for Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV), making it the 10th commercial spaceport in the United States.
"Houston has a legacy of leadership in space exploration, and the Houston Spaceport will position the city to remain a national leader in the field and capitalize on the emerging commercial spaceflight industry," Council Member Dave Martin said.
Nearly two years after Houston City Council members gave their support for the project, the FAA's formal approval opens the door for plans that could see Ellington Airport become a focal point for aerospace operations, such as the launching of micro satellites, astronaut training, zero gravity experimentation, spacecraft manufacturing and a host of other potential activities. During its application review process, the FAA published a Draft Environmental Assessment and held an open house meeting in Clear Lake on January 22, 2015 to collect input from the public.
Situated near the Gulf of Mexico, and featuring more than 400 acres of land readily available for development, Ellington Airport is tailor-made for the requirements associated with an operating licensed Spaceport. Ellington's proximity to NASA's Johnson Space Center and the existing aerospace industry in Houston's Bay Area will also provide opportunities for future partnerships and collaboration.
After working closely with the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation, HAS now can move forward in establishing the required infrastructure and support facilities needed to accommodate RLVs - which, like commercial aircraft, execute horizontal rather than vertical launches.
Council Member Martin's office will continue to keep the public informed as the Houston Spaceport moves closer to development at District E's Ellington Airport. For further information, please contact Council Member Martin's office at (832) 393-3008.