Camden County Georgia Submits Launch Site Operator License Application to FAA
Wednesday, January 30th, 2019
The Camden County Board of Commissioners formally submitted its application for a Launch Site Operator License (LSOL) to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation. The successful submission of the LSOL marks more than three years of work to comply with the detailed regulatory requirements necessary to conduct orbital and suborbital launches from southeast Georgia.
“This is a massive milestone for Camden County,” said County Commission Chairman Jimmy Starline. “To the best of our knowledge, no local government has ever accomplished this feat.” Commission Vice Chairman Gary Blount added, “This launch site operator license application has been a strategic priority of the Board of County Commissioners for several years and we are proud to report to the citizens of Camden County that it has been submitted.”
“I applaud the Board of County Commissioners for their visionary leadership, remaining persistent and focused on reaching the goal of formal submission of our launch site operator license application. In the 20th century Camden was declared the gateway to Space. Camden will retain that title again,” said Spaceport Camden project leader and County Administrator Steve Howard.
Georgia’s newly elected Governor, Brian Kemp - a strong supporter of the project on the campaign trail - hailed the submission as an important economic development project and STEM opportunity for rural Georgians.
As Governor, I am focused on expanding economic opportunity to every corner of our State - especially rural Georgia. Spaceport Camden is a visionary project that will bring high-paying aerospace jobs to Southeast Georgia while supporting a new wave of STEM education and career opportunities to the region. Spaceport Camden will also support our first-class universities and technical colleges ensuring that students who are educated in Georgia stay in Georgia to pursue their careers and raise their families.
Former Speaker of the House and member of the National Space Council Users Advisory Group, Newt Gingrich, joined Camden officials in celebrating the successful application submission and noted the importance of the project for US competitiveness in commercial space exploration.
Spaceport Camden is not only an important economic engine for Georgia, it is also good public policy. The Trump Administration is streamlining commercial space regulations to ensure American companies remain world leaders in space technology. But these regulatory reforms will not hasten space innovation if we do not also increase launch capacity, particularly vertical launch capacity on the east coast.
Speaker Gingrich’s call for additional launch capacity is echoed by retired Air Force Major General and Camden County resident Bob Dickman, the former commander of the 45 Space Wing.
Having overseen the Eastern Range for the United States Air Force and been involved with commercial space for the past decade I can attest to the growing launch demand in the commercial space sector. Spaceport Camden is an ideal location for the safe launch of the small satellites and rockets that are rapidly becoming the most important segment of this new market. The Spaceport, local colleges and the nearby opportunities for the development, manufacture and test of satellites, ground hardware and rockets are valuable assets for the economic growth of Coastal Georgia and the space launch industry.
Spaceport Camden has received widespread political support from lawmakers throughout Georgia. In June, both US Senators and the entire House Delegation from Georgia sent letters to the FAA supporting the Spaceport Camden draft environmental impact statement. Georgia’s federal lawmakers were joined by then Governor Nathan Deal and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle.
Buddy Carter, the Georgia Congressman who led the delegation letter in June and represents Spaceport Camden congratulated Camden County on its achievement. “The spaceport is a tremendous opportunity for our area. The site’s location is strategic and the economic benefits that could result from this project could be enormous. I have been a longtime supporter of this project and I am glad to see it move forward.”