FAA Limits Evaluation of Spaceport Infrastructure Funding Options

U.S. commercial launch sites that are licensed to host or have hosted since 2015, a commercial space launch, as of August 2020 (Credit: GAO)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has rejected a recommendation from a government watchdog that it conduct detailed analysis of a broad range of financing tools for funding infrastructure projects at the nation’s spaceports.

In a report to Congressional committees, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said it recommended to the FAA that it analyze the trade-offs of using direct loans, loan guarantees, tax incentives and other tools to increase investment in spaceport infrastructure.

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Budget Cuts Eliminate Space Transportation Infrastructure Grants for FY14

faa_logoThe Department of Transportation’s matching grants program for space transportation was dropped from President Barack Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget request due to funding constraints.

The grants, which were first authorized in 1992, have been awarded to a number of licensed and proposed spaceports in recent years to help fund space-related infrastructure development.  The grants require 50 percent local matches, including 10 percent from private-sector sources.

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NASA, FAA Fund Commercial Space Initiatives

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COMMERCIAL SPACEFLIGHT FEDERATION
PRESS RELEASE

December 22, 2009

NASA’s Centennial Challenges prize program, FAA’s Spaceports Infrastructure Grants initiative, and the new NASA Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research program (CRuSR) gained momentum after receiving funding in the NASA and FAA appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2010, passed by Congress and signed by the President last week. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation conducted advocacy efforts for these NASA and FAA programs as part of the CSF’s legislative agenda for this year:
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