Ellington » Houston Spaceport

Houston Airport System plans for spaceport approved by FAA




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  Multimedia Available

Click Here to view a highlight video featuring future plans for a Houston Spaceport

Click Here to view and download images of the Houston Spaceport renderings

Click Here to view a downloadable version of the 3D Animation Video

Click Here to view downloadable video clips of the speakers involved in the 9/4 press event  

The Houston Airport System (HAS) has been granted a Launch Site License from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 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.

Nearly two years after Houston City Council members gave their overwhelming 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.

“Houston will play a lead role in commercial space operations in the 21st century,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “We believe a licensed Spaceport in Houston will not only serve as an economic generator for the city but also enhance Houston’s well-deserved reputation as a leader and key player in the aerospace industry.”

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 execute horizontal launches, rather than vertical, similar to commercial aircraft.

“Houston has been at the forefront of aviation history and innovation for decades,” Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz said. “Not only does this opportunity reinforce an already long-established connection with the aerospace industry, it offers Houston an opportunity to strengthen its reputation as a forward-looking city and leader in creating high-tech, next-generation type jobs.”

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. As a whole, Houston offers a booming economy with a strong aerospace industrial base, a well-educated workforce with experience in the high-tech demands of space exploration and plenty of room for growth at a strategically located airport facility.

“We look forward to completing our vision to create an aerospace industry cluster at the Houston Spaceport,” said Arturo Machuca, the General Manager at Ellington Airport who has led the efforts to bring the spaceport project to EFD. “Now that we are officially the 10th commercial spaceport in the U.S. we are ready to work with our aerospace industry partners to take advantage of the unique location, infrastructure and human resources that the fourth largest city in the U.S. has to offer.”

About Houston Airports & Ellington Airport

The Houston Airport System served more than 50 million passengers in 2012. Houston’s three airports, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and Ellington Airport contribute $27.5 billion to the regional economy. Located just 15 minutes south of downtown Houston, Ellington Airport not only serves as the city’s primary general aviation reliever airport but also supports the operations of the United States military, NASA, and serves as a key nerve center during emergency crisis situations impacting the city. For more information, visit the HAS Website at fly2houston.com.

About the Commercial Space Federation
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is the industry association of leading businesses and organizations working to make commercial human spaceflight a reality. The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry.

Media Contacts

Houston Airport System
Media Line (281) 233-1234

Multimedia Available (Renderings, 3D Graphics & Video Clips)

Click Here to view a highlight video featuring future plans for a Houston Spaceport
Click Here to view and download images of the Houston Spaceport renderings
Click Here to view a downloadable version of the 3D Animation Video
Click Here to view downloadable video clips of the speakers involved in the 9/4 press event  

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