The Las Cruces Sun-News reported Monday that Spaceport America officials expected the FAA to issue Monday an environmental impact report associated with the spaceport, one of the final steps before the FAA would issue a spaceport license (officially a “launch site operator’s license”) for the planned commercial spaceport. Well, Spaceport America not only got the report, they also got their FAA license. The issuance of the license was one of three major milestones required as part of the funding package state legislators approved in 2006. One of the other two, the creation of a local tax district, has already been accomplished, while the other, the signing of a lease with anchor tenant Virgin Galactic, could be wrapped up as soon as this week, Steve Landeene, executive director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, said in the Sun-News article.
With all of those issues about to be resolved, construction of the spaceport facilities is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2009 and be completed “as soon as possible”, Landeene said in the statement announcing the spaceport license; the release later pegs late 2010 as the completion date for the completion of the terminal and hangar facilities at the spaceport.