Jacksonville took another step in growing its reputation in the commercial space industry. An additional $6 million in funding from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund was recently earmarked to support Cecil Spaceport’s ongoing development and transformation into a commercial spaceport with its first launch proposed in Q2 2022.
Home to the only licensed horizontal launch commercial spaceport on the East Coast, Cecil Airport is already well suited for a mixture of aviation and aeronautical uses including maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). Further, the airport has four different runways, including a 12,500-foot main runway, the third largest commercial runway in Florida.
With the contribution from the state, recent funding for Cecil Airport space-related development now totals to $20 million. This funding will enable Jacksonville to expand upon and enhance the site’s existing assets by developing a 8,600-foot access road that better connects the eastern and western portions of Cecil Airport.
With the capacity to handle heavy-duty vehicles and provide interconnectivity throughout a site with up to 407 acres available for development, the roadway will open several opportunities for the commercial space industry in the Jacksonville region. For example, the enhancements will provide the utility infrastructure needed to support commercial space and business expansion and allow for a significant increase in launch operations.
This project will also deliver the ample real estate and resources needed to attract new companies to the area, especially in the commercial space industry.
The funding comes as Cecil Airport’s space-related development has already experienced significant momentum, as evidenced by the current construction of Boeing’s 370,000-square foot facility on the eastern portion of the site. Additionally, Made in Space, an aerospace manufacturing and innovation company, followed by its parent company, Redwire Space, moved its headquarters to Jacksonville in 2020.
With Cecil Airport’s continued development and the area’s growing talent base, Northeast Florida is well equipped to welcome companies seeking to expand their presence in the commercial space industry and near Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. The development is expected to be completed as early as 2023.
For more information about the recent funding and development plans, read the article in Jacksonville Business Journal.