Oklahoma spaceport license soon?

In his presentation about Rocketplane Kistler at the ISDC on Friday, company CEO George French suggested that the Oklahoma Spaceport would soon get its launch license. “Oklahoma is going to be getting their spaceport license very shortly, and it’s already been published in the federal record.” He said the license would be official in the next two weeks. “There’s going to be a big party in Oklahoma” when the license is announced, he said, “and I’m told you’re all invited.” A check of the Federal Register didn’t turn up any announcement of a spaceport license, although the May 5th edition did contain a “Finding of No Significant Impact” declaration regarding the environmental assessment of the proposed spaceport, a key milestone towards getting the spaceport license. An announcement in the next couple of weeks suggests that it may come at the next meeting of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC), which will take place at FAA Headquarters on May 24. [Disclosure: my employer performs work for FAA/AST, but is not involved in the spaceport licensing process.]

2 comments to Oklahoma spaceport license soon?

  • Finding of no significant impact (“FONSI”) is actually the hardest, most expensive part of the licensing process.

  • […] Oklahoma’s spaceport at the former Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base has received its operators license from the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation. (The announcement was rather low-key: while the FAA issued a press release about the license, that press release isn’t available on FAA’s web site; see RLV and Space Transport News for the full text of the release, which apparently got a scattershot email distribution.) It’s certainly a big step forward for the spaceport, although one that had been anticipated for some time: over a month ago at ISDC, George French of Rocketplane Kistler said that the license would be official “in the next two weeks”. In his MSNBC article, Alan Boyle notes that the license “gives Oklahoma an edge in the nascent space tourism industry”, although that edge may be illusory: other planned spaceports, most notably New Mexico, will likely have their FAA licenses well in advance of any commercial operations planned from them, so it will come down to the ability of the companies that plan to operate from them to carry out their business plans. […]

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