Cecil Air and Spaceport plans space launches

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — F-18s are among many aircraft that use Cecil Air and Spaceport’s runways.

Soon, they’ll be sharing with spacecraft.

”We have done rocket testing here at Cecil already, and we are very excited for the future of space,” airport director Kelly Dollarhide said.

Dollarhide says two exciting potential launches are in the works.

The first, Aevum Space Logistics, is a company that plans to use an unmanned drone the size of a jet to launch aircraft into space.

The second potential launch would be by a company called Space Perspective, which wants to launch a gondola held by a giant balloon, and yes, you can ride the gondola.

There’s currently no set timeline for that, as Space Perspective is waiting on the FAA’s approval.

Cecil Spaceport plans to make some initial launches into space around Spring and Summer of 2022.

Cecil also just added a brand new air traffic control tower, helping guide over 100,000 flight operations a year -- Cecil is growing fast.With multiple spaceports in the country and three in Florida, Dollarhide says the competition is stiff, but that Cecil is in a good spot.

With capabilities other ports don’t have, she says Cecil offers four runways that shuttles can land on.

”Adding the spaceport as a simultaneous operation with our airport operations is pretty amazing,” Dollarhide added.

Cecil Spaceport is working with the FAA and expects up to four space launches in the next five years.