States Seek Greater Federal Use of Spaceports like Kodiak
March 21, 2012, Washington, D.C. – During a state and federal roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill yesterday, Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell told national aerospace leaders that state investments in launch facilities like the Kodiak Launch Complex can save the federal government money.
Treadwell was joined by lieutenant governors Jennifer Carroll of Florida, Sheila Simon of Illinois, Joe Garcia of Colorado, and aerospace agency leaders from several states, including Alaska Aerospace Corporation COO Craig Campbell, at Tuesday’s panel discussion. The roundtable follows a February 14 letter to President Obama, which urges the White House to direct federal agencies to partner with states as it rewrites national space transportation policy.
“The current U.S. National Space Policy, while promoting federal, foreign and commercial partnerships, is silent on partnerships with states,” Treadwell said. “By partnering with states, the federal government gains partners that bring local resources to bear and are already invested in the success of the industry.”
He pointed to the Alaska Aerospace Corporation’s Kodiak Launch Complex as an example. The State of Alaska has so far invested $30 million in the Kodiak Launch Complex, for a $300 million return in economic activity. California, Florida, New Mexico and Virginia have likewise made significant investments in their states’ spaceports, and others are being considered for suborbital launches.
The White House is currently re-writing its space transportation policy, and took comments from aerospace states requesting a partnership role. Treadwell and Campbell argued that a new national policy on space should encourage greater use of the Kodiak Launch Complex by federal agencies.
In addition to investments in launch facilities, Treadwell argued that states are also committed to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and to promoting a STEM-literate workforce.
“State investments in infrastructure and STEM education will help America maintain its aerospace leadership,” Treadwell said.
Treadwell is chair of the Aerospace States Association, an organization that works to promote safety, education, workforce development, and national security in the aerospace industry.
More than 47,000 Alaskans, or ten percent of the state’s workforce, are employed in aviation and space businesses, Treadwell said.