The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) formally closed the comment period on the Spaceport Camden Draft Environmental Impact Statement on June 14, 2018.
In the waning weeks of this comment period, a substantial number of supportive comments from influential voices throughout Georgia and the United States were submitted to the FAA. In particular, the entire Georgia Congressional delegation - including all 14 members of the House and both Georgia Senators - wrote in favor of the project.
Georgia’s Congressional delegation was joined by former Speaker of the House and National Space Council Advisory Group member, Newt Gingrich; Georgia’s Superintendent of Schools, Richard Woods; The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF); the Coastal Regional Commission of Georgia; ACCG; and Vector, all advocating for the swift approval of the Draft EIS and issuance of the launch site operator’s license for Camden County.
A common theme among the above commenters is the increased need for launch capacity amidst growing demand from the commercial space industry. The National Space Council and the Trump Administration have made streamlining launch and reentry licensing a focus of our national space policy. But as CFS President, Eric Stallmer noted, “Streamlining launch and reentry licensing without increasing launch capacity simply shifts the innovation bottleneck from regulatory licensing to launch delays and range congestion.”
“We’ve always said this is the right project at the right time,” said Steve Howard, Camden County Administrator and Spaceport Camden project lead. “The support from elected officials, commercial space companies, and space policy advocates all reaches the same conclusion: The United States needs more launch capacity and Spaceport Camden is best suited to meet this demand. We appreciate the recognition that Spaceport Camden is an important part of our national space strategy,” added Howard.
The FAA will review all the public comments received during the Draft EIS comment period and issue a Final EIS and Record of Decision in the coming months. In the meantime, Camden County plans to formally submit its launch site operator license application to the FAA, which will trigger a 180-day “shot clock” for a final decision on the issuance of the launch site operator’s license.