Our speaker in September 2015 was Mr. Todd Lindner from the Jacksonville Aviation Authority who is project manager for the new Cecil Field Spaceport operation.
Todd gave us an overview of the lengthy and complex process it took to get Cecil Field certified as a spaceport. He and his team had to coordinate with a number of government agencies, all branches of the military, the FAA and local governing authorities and communities. After several years of effort Cecil Spaceport is now officially certified and they are hosting several companies in the space travel industry at the site. Cecil Spaceport is now one of nine authorized facilities across the U.S.
The Cecil Spaceport, co-located with Cecil Airport near Jacksonville, will utilize its existing 12,500-foot-long Runway 18L-36R to launch and recover space vehicles that take off and land horizontally. Initially, Cecil Spaceport intends to conduct horizontal space launch operations using existing facilities to the extent possible, with long-term plans to develop dedicated facilities as warranted by the number of space flight operations conducted at Cecil Spaceport.
The prospect of horizontal takeoff and landing of space vehicles has been under development for decades and now appears to be on the verge of becoming a viable industry. Medium and heavy lift launches will continue to be made by conventional rockets for the foreseeable future, but it will be interesting to see how Cecil Spaceport will be developing in our own backyard.
Mr. Lindner is employed by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) and is Senior Manager of Planning and Spaceport Development. Mr. Lindner graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1986 with a Bachelors Degree in Aerospace and 1998 with a Masters Degree in Aviation Management and Administration. Mr. Lindner is a Certified Member of theAmerican Association of Airport Executives.