As FAA Considers Spaceport Colorado License, Eastern Plains Residents Express Concerns

Jun 5, 2018

License to launch a Colorado space travel initiative is quickly approaching, but the news has some Eastern Plains residents concerned.

As The Denver Post reports, if approved by the FAA in August, Spaceport Colorado, located at the Front Range Airport, would be a launch and landing site for space planes, still under development, that would engage rockets at 45,000 feet to take passengers or researchers into suborbital space.

But the plan concerns people like Mike McCaleb, a rancher with 500 head of cattle on Colorado’s eastern plains, who said Spaceport’s launch zone, which runs 100 miles from near Last Chance to western Kansas and 50 miles north to south, puts tiny towns along US 36 directly under its flight path.

Which has raised concerns about what impact that might have on aerial crop dusting operations. An official said the impact is uncertain because crop dusting pilots don’t usually communicate with air traffic control since those planes fly so close to the ground.

According to the FAA's website, the FAA released a Draft Programmatic Environment Assessment (PEA) for public review on April 18, 2018 and asked the public to provide comments by May 25, 2018. In response to preliminary comments received on the Draft PEA, the FAA is extending the comment period from May 25, 2018 to June 15, 2018.

Spaceport Colorado is expected to receive a final decision from the FAA by Aug. 19