The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has notified Camden County, Georgia that it has completed an initial review of the Spaceport Camden Launch Site Operator License application and found it to be complete enough to accept and begin the 180-day review process. According to the FAA it “anticipate[s] making a license determination, in accordance with 14 CFR § 413.15, on or before December 16, 2019.”
Separately, the FAA announced that it has synchronized all processes related to the Spaceport Camden Environmental Impact Statement and is targeting December 5, 2019 for the issuance of a Record of Decision. The Department of Transportation Permitting Dashboard has been updated to reflect all Spaceport Camden related deliverables as “in-progress.”
“We are now at T-minus 1, a final decision by the FAA is the only outstanding item,” said Steve Howard, Spaceport Camden Project Lead and Camden County Administrator. “When we submitted our application to the FAA earlier this year, we were optimistic about a licensing determination in 2019, with today’s news we anticipate achieving that goal.”
“I have proudly supported Spaceport Camden from the first time I heard about this amazing project and all it can do for Georgia. Camden County is showing what is possible when local leaders come together, think outside of the traditional box, and find a way to maximize their community’s greatest assets. The state of Georgia is firmly behind Camden County and we encourage the FAA to swiftly approve its launch site operator’s license application,” said Georgia Governor, Brian Kemp.
Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor, Geoff Duncan, heralded the announcement from the FAA. “My focus as Lieutenant Governor is to create the best educational opportunities for Georgia students and to make our state a national technology hub. Spaceport Camden checks both of these boxes. With the acceptance of Spaceport Camden’s Launch Site Operator License application by the FAA, we are on the cusp of bringing high tech, high paying aerospace jobs to coastal Georgia and new STEM education opportunities to all our students.”
The announcement by the FAA came a little more than a month after Spaceport Camden was named a Strategic 50 U.S. infrastructure project and just weeks before America begins celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The site of Spaceport Camden was used to test solid fuel rockets for NASA in the 1960s and Camden County, Georgia was proposed as an alternative launch site for the Apollo missions.
“Camden County, Georgia helped put a man on the moon in the 1960s and today we are ‘one step’ away from our licensing decision and ‘one giant leap’ closer to becoming the first purely commercial spaceport on the east coast. In the 20th century, Camden was declared the Gateway to Space. If the FAA approves our license, Camden will retain that title again in the 21st century,” added Howard.