On July 14, 2022, Houston Airports showcased the multiple developments transforming the City of Houston into a front-runner in the commercial aerospace industry at the Houston Spaceport & Ellington Airport.
Representatives of 11 of the 12 congressional offices in Houston got a “hands-on” update directly from Director Mario Diaz, Chief Operating Officer Jim Szczesniak and other senior leaders from Houston Airports on the progress the Houston Spaceport has achieved since becoming the nation’s 10th FAA licensed spaceport in 2015, including a vision of becoming an aviation and aerospace technology workforce development center of excellence.
The tour also included a visit with USAF Air National Guard Col. Andrew Camacho, Commander of the 147th Attack Wing and Base Commander of Ellington Joint Reserve Base (JRB) who highlighted the many national and global missions being supported by the service men and women of all branches of the military at Ellington JRB.
Tim Joniec, Houston Airports director of government relations, commented on the importance the Houston congressional delegation plays in future development projects for Houston Spaceport & Ellington Airport. “I am proud of the tremendous relationship Houston Airports has built over the years with our delegation and our military family,” said Joniec. “We ask, and they deliver to our great city, state, and the world.”
The delegation was pleased to hear about the more than 1,800 aerospace jobs the ongoing developments at the Houston Spaceport will bring to the city, as well as the unique collaboration and innovation opportunities that will result from having a cluster of aerospace companies working side by side at the Houston Spaceport.
Updates Provided to the Houston Congressional Delegation
Ellington Airport - EFD
NASA’s Johnson Space Center is planning to build a new facility at EFD to house its aircraft operations division.
Construction will begin soon on the new taxiway Lima, which will connect the airport’s runways to the Houston Spaceport, allowing access to the airfield for all the spaceport tenants.
Houston Spaceport Tenants
Intuitive Machines is the spaceport’s first tenant and in December 2021 they began construction of their new facility which will span across an estimated 12.5 acres and have more than 125,000 square feet of office and advanced production space. As the development moves along, Intuitive Machines is ready to deploy the first commercial lunar lander in history.
Houston’s own Axiom Space is building the first ever commercial space station and on May 2022 they broke ground on their new base of operations at the Houston Spaceport. The state-of-the-art headquarters will be developed in two phases. Phase I includes 106,000 square feet of assembly integration and test facilities and aims to be completed by April 2023. The second phase will add facilities for labs, mission operations and training, aircraft operations, and office space.
Collins Aerospace is scheduled to have its new 120,000 square-foot campus move in ready in late August, 2022. The facility will also host Houston’s first-ever incubator supporting spaceflight, with a dedicated 10,000 square-foot area for start-ups and universities to collaborate on solving critical space technology challenges, including robotics, medicine and additive manufacturing.
Aerospace and Aviation Training Center
The Houston Airport System (HAS) has partnered with the University of Houston-Clear Lake and San Jacinto College to develop an Aerospace and Aviation Training Center at the Houston Spaceport at Ellington Airport. The Training Center will provide state-of-the art facilities to conduct research and train a specialized workforce and leadership for the expanding aerospace and aviation industry.
In 2020, HAS undertook a feasibility study to evaluate the opportunity to locate an aerospace and aviation training center at the Houston Spaceport. The feasibility study concluded that there is a need for a training center at the Houston Spaceport. The first phase of the project would provide large warehouse and hangar space where employees and students can learn on the aircraft, equipment tools they will use once they complete their training, secure license and/or obtain their degree. The Training Center also will house classroom space for lectures.
HAS plans to use a combination of federal, state, university, and private sector funds to construct and operate the Training Center. HAS will work with its partners to pursue the funding necessary to build and operate the Training Center.