EXPLORATION PARK, Fla.—January 11, 2024—Space Florida, the state’s aerospace finance and development authority, announces its top priorities for the 2024 Florida Legislative Session: expansion of Florida’s spaceport system territory and urging Congress to make spaceport bonds tax-exempt for the benefit of our economy and military resilience. With Florida already designating space as a mode of transportation, further developing and enhancing Florida’s space transportation infrastructure is part of the critical foundation that will enable the state to be the undisputed leader in aerospace commerce.
Rob Long, Space Florida president and CEO, said, “Our vision this year is to implement policies that will strengthen Florida’s standing as the global hub of aerospace commerce and propel us into a new era, leading the charge on economic investment and critical infrastructure and tech advancements for the aerospace industry.
“The expansion of our spaceport territory provides optionality for aerospace development and further solidifies Florida as the premier global and interplanetary capital for aerospace commerce. This enhancement will attract a diverse range of aerospace companies and investors to new regions of our state, driving greater economic growth and supporting military resiliency.
Long added, “Making spaceport bonds tax exempt will not only benefit Florida, but it will have a profound impact on the entire country, further establishing America as a leader in the rapidly growing aerospace industry, now and for generations to come.
“Thank you to Sens. Wright, Calatayud and Trumbull and Reps. Sirois, Griffitts and Garcia for their steadfast support of Florida’s aerospace industry and their confidence in Space Florida’s work to propel the industry forward.”
Spaceport System Territory Expansion:
Provide optionality for aerospace development statewide and enhance military bases
House Bill 577 co-sponsored by Rep. Philip Wayne Griffitts, Jr. and Rep. Alina Garcia, and Senate Bill 968 co-sponsored by Sen. Alexis Calatayud and Sen. Jay Trumbull, expand Florida’s spaceport system territory to include Homestead Air Reserve Base and Tyndall Air Force Base into Florida’s spaceport territory. This enhancement helps attract a diverse range of aerospace companies and investors, driving greater economic growth and technological progress in new regions of Florida’s already unbeatable location. Including these two bases into the spaceport system territory bolsters and fortifies current operations, while enhancing opportunities for aerospace development.
Florida’s spaceport system territory currently includes these strategic locations: Cape Canaveral Spaceport, Cecil Spaceport, Eglin Air Force Base, Cape San Blas, Space Coast Regional Airport and Spaceport and Patrick Space Force Base. The state can better support military resilience by enhancing the bases and creating aerospace hubs in new regions of the state.
Making Spaceport Bonds Tax-Exempt:
Enhance national security capabilities and catalyze private investments in spaceport infrastructure and modernizing space transportation infrastructure financing option
Rep. Tyler Sirois (House Memorial (CS/HM 143) and Sen. Tom A. Wright (Senate Memorial (SB 370) filed legislation urging Congress to add spaceports as a qualified tax-exempt category of private activity bonds. With space as a designated mode of transportation, giving spaceport bonds tax exempt status on par with airports and seaports is crucial for the growth and development of the space industry, and by extension the broader economy and national security.
On January 23, Space Florida and other industry partners will host Florida Space Day 2024 at the Capitol. This annual event was developed to ensure that Florida remains at the forefront of the nation’s space program and presents an opportunity to educate and bring awareness to Florida legislators on the significance of the aerospace industry and its impact on Florida’s economy. The aerospace industry represents billions of dollars in annual economic impact and employs thousands of residents in the state’s 67 counties.
Alayna Curry, APR
About Space Florida
Space Florida is where leading aerospace companies get everything they need to see their new ideas take off. As the state’s aerospace finance and development authority, Space Florida brings a mix of unrivaled experience, unmatched financial tools, and unbeatable location to the table by providing critical business financing opportunities for the aerospace industry, managing infrastructure investment in the state’s spaceport system, and facilitating research and development, workforce, education, and investment programs.