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Houston, Texas, Airport System Moves Forward With Spaceport Project With Engineering Facility Purchase

11/10/2015
The Houston Airport System recently completed an important step in the launch of the Houston Spaceport, near city-owned Ellington Airport in Harris County, Texas.

Houston City Council approved the $6.9 million purchase of an aerospace engineering building and land adjacent to Ellington Airport. According to the Airport System, using airport funds for the purchase, the 53,000 square foot building will house a shared use manufacturing and general office facility.

"This facility becomes the first dedicated infrastructure for the Houston Spaceport project," said Arturo Machuca, the General Manager at Ellington Airport who successfully led the HAS effort to obtain a Launch Site License from the Federal Aviation Administration.

"This building will allow us to solidify ongoing commercial relationships with established and emerging aerospace companies. The concept of developing an innovation district as part of the Houston Spaceport project is a key element in achieving the far-reaching goal of developing the aerospace industry into a successful commercial endeavor,” he added.

Located on 4.30 acres of land that abuts the west side of Ellington Airport near existing Boeing Company offices and National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Sonny Carter Training Facility, the Boeing Company currently occupies the Houston Product Service Center and plans to continue to use a portion in connection with its NASA contracts. The airport system has received a letter of intent to lease from both Intuitive Machines and UK-based Catapult Satellite Applications, and expects to receive others in the near future.

Houston Airports will modify the building and eventually have small and large companies housed on the same campus to encourage collaboration, company officials said. The co-working space would conceivably include an incubation space for early-stage companies, more permanent offices for developing companies and even larger facilities for companies that need room to mass produce their products.

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