Mojave Becomes the Global Expert in Spaceports

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

The Mojave Air and Space Port has developed a profitable consulting business: advising other groups about how to build and operate their spaceports.

Officials from the California spaceport have provided advice to spaceport operators in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Sweden and the Caribbean island of Curacao, said Mojave CEO Stuart Witt.

Last week, the East Kern Airport District Board of Directors approved partnering agreements with two companies vying to provide services to Colorado officials who want to turn Front Range Airport outside of Denver into a spaceport. The consulting companies are HRD and Scott Brown, Inc.

Witt and other official from the spaceport would be team members who would provide advice in various areas of expertise, including:

  • spaceport operations
  • business development
  • spaceport licensing
  • environmental issues
  • facility analysis and design
  • public relations.

It might seem odd that Mojave is assisting other potential competitors. However, Witt said that they had two options: build a moat around itself and try to prevent others from gaining for its experience; or become the global experts in the field.

Of course, not all of their advice is welcome. Witt said New Mexico officials sought out Mojave’s advice before building Spaceport America but ignored it. They are now spending $7.5 million to extend the runway by 2,000 feet and are considering spending much more to build a crosswind runway at the desert spaceport north of Las Cruces.