Spaceport America Bond Refinancing to Save $8.2 Million

Sunset at the “Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space” terminal hangar facility at Spaceport America. (Credit: Bill Gutman/Spaceport America)

SIERRA COUNTY, NM, June 25, 2021, (NMSA PR) — The New Mexico Spaceport Authority, an agency of the State of New Mexico, and operator of Spaceport America, has completed a $35.4 million refunding of its Public Project Revolving Funds of 2009 and 2010. The refinancing of the bonds significantly reduced the interest rates from about 4.50% to less than 0.80% per annum, which results in a savings of $8.2 million for New Mexico taxpayers over the remaining nine years of debt service payments.

Scott McLaughlin, Executive Director of Spaceport America, commented, “This was a long and somewhat complicated process, involving many people at the Spaceport Authority, the New Mexico Finance Authority, the Board of Finance, and the Spaceport America Regional Spaceport District. Thank you everyone for your efforts.”

The refunding was approved by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority Board of Directors at their February 2021 meeting.  New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes, who chairs the Board, said, “It is important to be good stewards of taxpayer funds, and the refunding saves New Mexico citizens a significant amount of money.”

Spaceport America has been operating as an FAA-licensed commercial spaceport since 2006. Tenants at Spaceport America, including Virgin Galactic, employ over 230 people at the facility. The FAA has just granted a commercial license to Virgin Galactic allowing the company to begin passenger flights to space from New Mexico.

Spaceport America (https://www.spaceportamerica.com) is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot by 200-foot runway, vertical launch complexes, and about 340 days of sunshine and low humidity.

Some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are tenants at Spaceport America: Virgin Galactic, HAPSMobile/AeroVironment, UP Aerospace, and SpinLaunch. Other customers include Boeing, EXOS Aerospace and Swift Engineering.