RICHMOND HILL — Support for building a spaceport similar to the one in Cape Canaveral, Florida, is increasing, as government leaders comprising the Coastal Regional Commission Council approved a resolution endorsing Spaceport Camden during a meeting Tuesday at the Richmond Hill City Center.
The council is composed of city and county officials, along with other representatives, including Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas. Also on hand was Liberty County Development Authority Chairman Allen Brown. The meeting was led by council Chairman Tom Radcliffe.
The resolution supports the proposed 12,000-acre spaceport at the site of an old 1960s Apollo engine test site in Camden County. With the emerging global space industry's annual $300 billion-plus impact, coastal Georgia leaders signaled their willingness to recognize the state of Georgia's already “significant input to space as an emerging industry,” in which “Georgia Tech contributes more than 200 graduates annually with strong interests in space systems, engineering and space science.”
Georgia is already heavily invested in space, the council noted, with 80,000 employees and total economic impact of $50 billion, making the state a national aerospace industry leader. Companies with a presence in Georgia that are involved in space include Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop Grumman, Pratt and Whitney and Honeywell's EMS technologies.
Georgia Southern University's contributions, along with those of 30 other institutions of higher learning, provide industry manpower sources, said Dr. Mohammad Davoud, the dean of GSU's College of Engineering and Information Technology. He was part of a group giving an update on Spaceport Camden, which was presented by Camden County Administrator Steve Howard.
Spaceport Camden provides a good location on the East Coast for unobstructed space launches over the Atlantic Ocean, Howard said.
The Coastal Regional Commission Council’s support for the resolution was unanimous.
The Federal Aviation Administration will hold a public hearing on the preparations for a spaceport environmental impact study from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 7 in the Camden County Public Services Authority Recreation Center’s Community Room, 1050 Wildcat Drive, Kingsland.
Spaceport Camden is proposed for a site 11½ miles from Woodbine in an environmentally sensitive area, part of which was industrialized, and other parts undeveloped.