June 13, 2011
Cecil Airport is one step closer to being a spaceport.
On Monday the Jacksonville Aviation Authority announced that it received support from the State of Florida in its efforts to transform Cecil Airport into a 21st century commercial spaceport.
Space Florida officially designated Cecil as a "Space Territory" on June 9. Getting that designation means the Florida Department of Transportation now has legal authority to fund spaceport-related transportation facilities within Cecil to better accommodate horizontal launch space travel.
JAA will now be able to pursue funds to design and construct new roadways, taxiways, and assembly and payload facilities at Cecil Airport. A Spaceport Master Plan is expected to be completed in the fall.
"This designation places Cecil on the map to be a catalyst for job creation, and positions northeast Florida to carve out a niche in the aerospace industry," said JAA spokesman Michael Stewart. "We are optimistic about horizontal lift commercial space opportunities at Cecil upon completion of our Spaceport Master Plan later this fall."
The design and construction of additional support facilities at Cecil Spaceport will also bring economic benefits in the form of jobs and aerospace businesses. The space program at Cecil will be able to support civil, military, and commercial launches and accommodate space tourism, Stewart said.