Houston City Council approves $18 million for Houston Spaceport infrastructure


Houston City Council on Oct. 17 approved spending $18.8 million on developing infrastructure for Phase 1 of the Houston Spaceport.

Texas Sterling-Banicki JV LLC will develop streets, water, wastewater, electrical and communications facilities on the 90 acres of Phase 1 to attract aerospace companies to the Houston Spaceport, located in the southeast part of the Ellington Airport, according to a Houston Airport System press release.

More than $13.1 million of the funding will go toward preconstruction, design and construction phase services. The Houston Airport System Airport Improvement Fund is funding the project, according to the release.

“Phase 1 is an important first step toward our final vision for the Houston Spaceport,” said Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. “With more than 600 acres of land available for lease at the location, the Houston Spaceport is primed for development, and with vital infrastructure in place, momentum for this exciting project continues to build—much like our future partners will with these key assets already in place.”

The goal of the Houston Spaceport is to house space-related companies to accompany NASA’s presence in the Bay Area. The spaceport will host the launching of micro satellites, astronaut training, zero-gravity simulations, spacecraft manufacturing and more, according to the release.

“We are excited to move forward with the construction of the infrastructure that we’ve been planning for,” said Arturo Machuca, general manager of Ellington Airport and the Houston Spaceport. “This is an important step in the process, putting in place the groundwork for future partners and giving them the infrastructure necessary for developing future ventures.”

Eventually the site will be a launching point for vehicles that will reach the International Space Station and commercial supersonic flights capable of delivering flyers to domestic and international destinations in a fraction of the time it takes now.

“Houston offers a booming economy with a strong aerospace industrial base, a well-educated workforce with experience in the high-tech demands of space exploration and plenty of room for growth at a strategically located airport facility,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “The Houston Spaceport project looks to the future and embraces our city’s spirit of adventure and innovation.”

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Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for a few years, covering topics such as city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be an editor with Community Impact. In his free time, Magee enjoys playing video games, jamming on the drums and bass, longboarding and petting his cat.
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