Midland, Texas’ effort to create the nation’s first airport/spaceport combination may be placed on hold.
The Lesser Prairie Chicken stands in the way.
According to the Midland Reporter-Telegram, the airport submitted and addendum to its environmental impact study in March, after the species was placed on the ‘threatened’ list. The US Fish and Wildlife service has yet to approve the change, saying there are concerns that sonic booms from the facility could affect the chickens’ mating habits.
An airport official believes the addendum will eventually be approved, but says the process is moving at “a snail’s pace.” If they receive final approval, the FAA will have until September 15 to issue the spaceport license.
The Spaceport Development Corporation currently has no budget, but has a two-million dollar trust approved by the governor’s office. The funding is contingent on Space-X receiving approval of its private launch site on Boca Chica Beach, near Brownsville.