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Sunday 23 November 2014

Hawaii

The image above shows the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as seen from space. - Image credit: National Park Service

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Hawaii Makes A Move To Acquire Third U.S. Spaceport

HONOLULU, Hawaii — The Hawaiian State Senate is considering a bill that would create a Hawaiian Spaceport.  Senate Bill No. 112 would authorize the state government to apply to the Federal Aviation Administration for a spaceport license.

The Senate Ways & Means Committee held a public hearing this past Thursday, then voted to recommend approval of the bill to the full Senate 12-to-0.

The companion bill was introduced and passed by the state House of Representatives as House Bill No. 645 on January 24.  The House resolution says in part: “The legislature recognizes that expanding the State’s tourism product by developing new niche products, such as space tourism, can enhance Hawaii’s appeal as a tourist destination.”

The resolution goes on to say that “Space tourism is a potential billion dollar global industry that could significantly increase state revenues, provide new aerospace jobs, and rejuvenate economic development in the Kalaeloa area”.

The bill further recognizes that two previous licenses have been issued, one in New Mexico and on in Jacksonville, Florida.

And: “The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to issue a limited number of spaceport licenses and the legislature finds that it is crucial to position Hawaii for that economic opportunity.”

“So the race is definitely on and this is Hawaii’s opportunity to be apart of this new, exciting industry,” says Sen. Will Espero, (D) Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe.

Jim Crisafulli, Aerospace Development Director for the State of Hawaii, says that the state government “has taken a very proactive stance  in promoting partnerships, both public, private and international to help advance aerospace programs through the State of Hawaii.

He eventually foresees flights between Asia and Hawaii, and between Europe and Hawaii, bringing tourists to Hawaii through space and providing opportunities for local residents to experience suborbital flight.

To see PDFs of the House and Senate Bills and related documents click here.

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