City funds efforts to get a spaceport in Yuma County
Yuma has submitted an application to the FAA to open a spaceport on land it owns outside San Luis
YUMA, Ariz. (KECY, KYMA) - 3, 2, 1 … Liftoff!
Local leaders are hoping Yuma’s next frontier could be outer space.
Julie Engel and the Yuma Economic Development Corporation are leading the effort to get a spaceport to Yuma County.
“It’s very exciting, and it’s a game changer for the community," Engel said.
The city hopes to build the spaceport just east of San Luis on a plot of land it owns, which is near the border, and right next to the Arizona State Prison complex.
The spaceport itself would be a concrete slab, with aerospace companies bringing their own launching equipment.
It’s all possible due to the support of the city, which pitched in $250 million to pay for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licensing application.
As Yuma’s City Administrator believes it’s an investment that will lead to major economic growth in the coming years.
“It adds another leg to our economy which we can support for years to come,” Jay Simonton said.
And space is big business, as Morgan Stanley projects the global space industry could generate revenue of more than $1 trillion by 2040.
Engel said Yuma’s location makes it one of the few places in the United States where having a spaceport is viable.
“There are two areas of crisis when a rocket is launched, where they are volatile, and in both situations, they’re over the ocean. The Sea of Cortez and then actually the Pacific,” Engel said.
Outside of the space industry, Simonton said the spaceport would boost local tourism as well.
“Everyone knows Cape Canaveral in Florida and every time there’s a launch people want to go see it, and we think there’s an opportunity for that here too," Simonton said.
Engel said the application with the FAA was just filed, and there is no timeline as to when the agency could approve or deny the license.