Officials in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Commercial Space Transportation have indicated to Camden County, Georgia that its revised Launch Site Operator License Application has cleared key milestones.
Specifically, the FAA is no longer requesting any information from Camden County except for those related to 14 CFR §420.15 (environmental) and §420.17 (policy).
“With only environmental review and policy review outstanding, Spaceport Camden has cleared the critical safety and launch site location reviews,” said Commission Chairman, Jimmy Starline. “Camden County has had good conversations with the Pentagon and leadership at Kings Bay and we are confident that we can deconflict any remaining issues pertaining to the Department of Defense,” added Starline.
“Clearing safety review and launch site location review indicates that we made the right decision in amending our application to focus on market position,” said County Administrator and project lead, Steve Howard. “I am encouraged by our progress.”
A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Spaceport Camden was released in March 2018, but Camden County is still waiting for the FAA to complete its environmental review process. The FAA has been preparing the Spaceport Camden EIS for nearly five years. In 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13807 challenging federal agencies to reduce environmental reviews and authorization decisions for new major infrastructure projects to two years. The Executive Order also directs agencies to apply the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in a manner that reduces unnecessary burdens and delays as much as possible, including by using the Council on Environmental Quality’s authority to interpret NEPA to simplify and accelerate the NEPA review process.
“The EIS has been the longest and most expensive part of this project, I am hopeful we are nearing an end to that process,” said Vice Chairman Gary Blount.