by David Chapman, Staff Writer
Cecil Spaceport stands to garner a significant portion, estimated at up to 10 percent, of the emerging space travel market, according to a Jacksonville Aviation Authority administrator.
Todd Lindner, the authority’s administrator of planning and development, presented the figures Monday to the JAA board as part of a Cecil Spaceport master plan presentation.
The plan originated in April 2011.
According to a plan update, a market share summary study by Futron Corp. for 2021-25 said that nationwide there could be 13,000-25,000 annual space tourists generating revenue of $676 million-$1.26 billion.
Cecil Spaceport could support a 10 percent market share with about 250 annual launches that draw 1,300-2,500 participants and generate revenue of $67.6 million-$126 million to vendors.
In the space tourism industry, orbital flights cost between $20 million to $30 million while suborbital flights are $100,000-$200,000.
Lindner said that Jacksonville and Cecil Spaceport have a projected competitive advantage because of location and proximity to federal spaceports.
Other commercial spaceports in California, Virginia and New Mexico are close to federal spaceports and compete among each other for federal funds and launch approvals, Lindner said.
Cecil Spaceport is the closest to a city that could provide additional amenities for space tourists, he said.
Cecil Spaceport’s only weakness was the lack of an agreement with a vehicle developer. Strengths included the existing infrastructure, tourism potential and the technical workforce.
Among the recommendations are development of a visitor’s center, taxiways, approach roads and the revision of an environmental assessment.