Hawaiian Legislature Pushes Ahead on Spaceport Application

The Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaiian State Senators are debating a bill that would allow the state to apply for a spaceport license from the Federal Aviation Administration. A similar measure passed the Legislature last year, but no money was appropriated for it by then-Gov. Linda Lingle.

The full text of Senate Bill 112, which was introduced by Sen. Will Espero, is shown after the break.

RELATING TO TOURISM.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that tourism is the chief generator of employment and revenue in the State and influences all sectors of the State’s economy.  New developments in technology, increased visitor sophistication, and greater competition from other world tourism markets require Hawaii’s tourism industry to direct their marketing efforts at visitors with specific interests.

The legislature recognizes that expanding the State’s tourism product by developing new niche products, such as space tourism, can enhance Hawaii’s appeal as a tourist destination.

In 2007, Virgin Galactic confirmed the viability of space tourism by earning approximately $31,000,000 in ticket revenue from over one hundred passengers.  On December 15, 2008, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded a launch license for vertical and horizontal launches to the New Mexico Spaceport Authority to establish a commercial spaceport.  On January 11, 2010, Cecil Field airport in Jacksonville, Florida was awarded a similar Federal Aviation Administration license.

Space tourism is a potential billion dollar global industry that could significantly increase state revenues, provide new aerospace jobs, and rejuvenate economic development in the Kalaeloa area.  The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to issue a limited number of spaceport licenses and the legislature finds that it is crucial to position Hawaii for that economic opportunity.

The purpose of this Act is to appropriate funds for the application for a spaceport license from the Federal Aviation Administration.

SECTION 2.  There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2011-2012 and the same amount or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2012-2013 for the application for a spaceport license from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of business, economic development, and tourism for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2011.

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Tourism; Space Industry; Federal Aviation Administration; Spaceport License

Description:

Appropriates funds in FY 2011-2012 and FY 2012-2013 for the application of a spaceport license from the Federal Aviation Administration to establish space tourism in Hawaii.