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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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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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