Jacksonville Moves Ahead with Space Tourism Plans

The Jacksonville Airport Authority is moving ahead with plans to designate Cecil Field as a spaceport to host suborbital flights. JAA expects to received approval for the move from the Federal Aviation Administration by February 2009, the Jacksonville Business Journal reports.

“Although the final application was turned in Aug. 15, interim drafts have already been approved. Once the operators receive FAA approval to fly out of Cecil, the first launch could be as early as spring 2010,” the journal reports.

Cecil Field is a civilian-military airport that sits on the location of a Naval Air Station that was closed in 1999. The airfield features:

  • Four runways: one at 12,500 feet and three at 8,000 feet
  • 537,000 square yards of apron
  • Eight hangars
  • 175 major buildings totaling 2.9 million square feet.
  • Over 425,000 square feet of warehouse, industrial and general-use space
  • 225,000 square feet of general office and support facilities

The airport hosts the Florida Army National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON). Boeing, Northrop Grumman and other major aerospace companies are located at the facility, where they provide maintenance and overhaul services for U.S. military aircraft.