Houston City Council approves $18.8 million for Phase 1 of Houston Spaceport project

HOUSTON — City Council today approved more than $18.8 million in funding for Phase 1 of the Houston Spaceport project at Ellington Airport.

The completion of work on the design-build agreement with Texas Sterling-Banicki, JV LLC will provide infrastructure vital to the development of the 90 acres set aside for Phase 1, including streets, water, wastewater, electrical power distribution facilities, and communications facilities necessary to attract future development.

Granted the 10th commercial spaceport license in June 2015, the Houston Spaceport will become a focal point in the region for aerospace operations, such as the launching of micro satellites, astronaut training, zero gravity experimentation, spacecraft manufacturing and a host of other potential activities.

“Houston offers a booming economy with a strong aerospace industrial base, a well-educated workforce with experience in the high-tech demands of space exploration and plenty of room for growth at a strategically located airport facility,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “The Houston Spaceport project looks to the future and embraces our city’s spirit of adventure and innovation.”

Phase 1 of the Houston Spaceport project will offer tenants and partners a unique environment in which to collaborate as well as an operational platform to achieve critical business objectives. By housing organizations from across several industries and disciplines on one campus, the 10th licensed commercial spaceport located in the United States will foster and accelerate key aerospace engineering activities, including:

  • Component and composite development and fabrication
  • Space vehicle assembly
  • Zero-gravity scientific and medical experiments
  • Microsatellite deployment
  • Astronaut training and development
  • Space tourism

“Phase 1 is an important first step toward our final vision for the Houston Spaceport,” said Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. “With more than 600 acres of land available for lease at the location, the Houston Spaceport is primed for development, and with vital infrastructure in place, momentum for this exciting project continues to build — much like our future partners will with these key assets already in place.”

Construction in Phase 1 will eventually include a co-working space located near the Houston Aerospace Support Center, as well as land for several aerospace companies, and more. Innovation is at the very heart of aerospace and the core of the Houston Spaceport project. The innovative enterprise is designed to support growth and expansion across a highly diverse range of industry clusters, like drone technology, and foster and accelerate key aerospace engineering activities like component and composite development and fabrication and beyond.

“We are excited to move forward with the construction of the infrastructure that we’ve been planning for,” said Arturo Machuca, the General Manager of Ellington Airport and the Houston Spaceport. “This is an important step in the process, putting in place the groundwork for future partners and giving them the infrastructure necessary for developing future ventures.”

The majority of the funding — more than $13.1 million — will go to pre-construction and design services, and construction phase services. Funding for the project will come from the Houston Airport System Airport Improvement Fund.

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