This is the eighth commercial spaceport license awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration, and the first in Florida.
During a horizontal launch, a spacecraft takes off and lands horizontally like an airplane. With a 12,500-foot runway -- the third-longest in Florida -- and its proximity to airspace over the Atlantic Ocean, Cecil Field was deemed a suitable site.
“Cecil Field has come a long way in the past 10 years. This property, which was once a Naval Air Station, continues to be reused and redeveloped in innovative ways,” JAA Board Chairman Deborah Pass-Durham said. “We’re hopeful this commercial spaceport license will help take Cecil Field to the next level in attracting new business, especially within the space industry.”
Commercial uses for space are expected to include suborbital space tourism, travel and cargo operations. The best known player in the commercial space industry is Virgin Galactic, which is based at New Mexico’s Spaceport America. The CEO of another industry leader, Oklahoma City-based Rocketplane Global Inc., has visited Cecil Field.
Other Companies Such as Scaled Composites, Virgin Galactic and other has visited this Air port. All have expressed interest in Cecil as a primary launch facility.
The airport is located on the site of the former Naval Air Station Cecil Field, which opened in 1941 and closed in 1999 following the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decision. Covering a total area of 22,939 acres (92.8 km²), it was the largest military base in the Jacksonville area and supported all Atlantic Fleet F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter squadrons and S-3 Viking sea control squadrons.