In the wake of several postponements, the Federal Aviation Administration has set a deadline of Dec. 15 for its final decision whether to grant a Spaceport Camden license.

GA - Spaceport Camden decision pushed back by federal officials

ST. MARYS — The federal agency responsible for licensing Spaceport Camden again wants more time to evaluate plans to launch rockets from Georgia’s coast.

For a third time, the Federal Aviation Administration announced it will delay its decision whether to grant a permit for the proposed Camden County project because of ongoing consultations, pushing it back from Wednesday to Dec. 15.

Over the last nine years, Camden County officials have spent nearly $10 million trying to meet federal and state requirements for the controversial project. Environmental watchdogs and many local residents have registered strong opposition to the planned spaceport as a waste of taxpayer dollars and a space fantasy.

The FAA seemed poised to approve the operator’s license weeks after the agency indicated in June it favored allowing Camden County to build the launch facility.

Spaceport Camden spokesman John Simpson says that the recent delay is due to some parties asking the FAA for time to review revisions made to the final agreement.

“We understand that FAA plans to accommodate that request and will be scheduling that meeting soon,” Simpson said in an email. “This additional meeting has delayed the release of the (record of decision) and resulted in the FAA pushing back its timetable. However, we are still optimistic about a favorable decision on Spaceport Camden.”

Camden’s plans call for building a facility and launch pads that allow for as many as 12 commercial rocket launches annually over five years. The vision is scaled down to smaller vehicle launches from initial plans to launch rockets as big as the 230-foot-tall SpaceX Falcon 9.

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