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Gov’t commissions feasibility study for commercial spaceport in Roosevelt Roads

The Puerto Rico government has signed a collaborative agreement with Florida-based RS&H Inc. to conduct a feasibility study to establish a commercial spaceport at the José Aponte de la Torre Airport, in the former Roosevelt Roads naval base in Ceiba.

The study will cost $75,000 and should be ready by June 30, 2019.

“We believe that Puerto Rico can develop an important commercial spaceport in the facilities of the former naval base, and we are taking the first step in that direction by entrusting a study to a specialized company in the field, to support our efforts in that direction,” said Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel A. Laboy said, adding this would continue to strengthen the redevelopment of Ceiba and surrounding towns.

The study will support government efforts to determine the feasibility of obtaining the necessary licenses and permits for the Ports Authority to become an operator of Commercial Launch Site Operator for Horizontal Reusable Launch Vehicles, as defined by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“We continue to collaborate in search of promoting the island’s economic development, optimizing the use of our facilities,” Ports Authority Executive Director Anthony Maceira said. This study will determine the technical and economic feasibility of establishing a commercial spaceport in the airport Jose Aponte de la Torre in the former Roosevelt Roads naval base in Ceiba. Also concluded that it is feasible and beneficial, it will help pautar in a clear manner the steps to pursue FAA certification for such operations. ”

The study will also include the goals, objectives and required facilities or proposals for operations of a commercial spaceport and other advanced aerospace technologies, Maceira added.

“We’re transforming the former military base at Roosevelt Roads, a center for the economic development of Puerto Rico, based on innovation, science, technology, aerospace, manufacturing and export, among other sectors that provide the opportunity to create good jobs for our workforce,” Laboy said.

“The aerospace sector has remained strong, continues to grow and we’re confident that investing in their maximum development will benefit our people,” he said.

Both government entities will assume 50 percent of the total cost of conducting the study.

RS&H (Reynolds, Smith & Hills) Inc. is an infrastructure and facilities consulting firm founded in 1941. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, it has 58 offices in the United States. Through the decades, the firm has worked on designing platforms for the National Space Program, creating international airports, highway systems and facilities listed as Fortune 1000 companies.

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