Midland Awaits Spaceport License From FAA

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry and XCOR Chief Pilot Rick Searfoss examine a mockup of the Lynx. (Credit: XCOR)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and XCOR Chief Pilot Rick Searfoss examine a mockup of the Lynx. (Credit: XCOR)

An update from Midland, Texas, on plans to bring XCOR to the airport there from California:

Marv Esterly, the city’s director of airports, said the airport still awaits its spaceport license from the Federal Aviation Administration, a necessary step for XCOR to arrive. But with the recent government shutdown affecting agencies such as the FAA, Esterly predicts the license, originally slated for the end of the year, may now be granted in February 2014.

“It’s up in the air,” Esterly said in regards to XCOR’s actual arrival to Midland.

The original plan was to have renovations to XCOR’s future home, the former AMI hangar, complete by fall this year and the license to be granted at this time as well. Office space and insulation inside the hangar were meant to have started in early 2013, but as of now, a contractor is being selected for the renovations….

As the wait for the license continues, the city of Midland and Midland County collaborated to form the Spaceport Development Corp. The group can apply for state grants related to spaceports, but more importantly, it can control land surrounding the airport to ensure that XCOR’s flight path has no interference. MDC also helped XCOR’s path as well in June when it purchased 374 acres of land near Farm-to-Market Road 1788 between State Highways 191 and 158 for $4 million.

Read the full story.