By Andrea Rumbaugh
Updated 10:28 am, Friday, December 8, 2017
The Houston Spaceport is touting its facility and meeting potential tenants for a cluster of aerospace companies at the third annual Space Commerce Conference and Exposition.
"SpaceCom is a great opportunity for us to continue to do our networking efforts and to speak to domestic and international companies," said Arturo Machuca, general manager of Ellington Airport and the Houston Spaceport.
He spoke to the Chronicle Wednesday about the spaceport's recent advances, including its focus on building the roads and utilities needed to support future development.
Machuca said the design for such infrastructure was 60 percent complete in late September, and officials have since selected a firm to finish the design and then build the $18.5 million project.
Officials plan to ask City Council for approval to award the contract to its selected company in the first quarter of 2018, and it hopes to break ground in the third quarter.
Machuca said this type of infrastructure is expected by potential tenants such as Blue Origin, which was considering the Houston Spaceport but ultimately chose Huntsville, Ala., for a rocket engine manufacturing facility.
"Despite not obtaining the positive news ... we remain committed and we're building the infrastructure that is necessary for spaceport development," he said.
This week, Ellington Airport completed a $2 million rebuild of a non-airfield road that provides vehicle access to hangars. Construction on a new air traffic control tower is under way, and the tower should be complete and operational by September 2018. It will include space for mission control.
See the original article here: http://www.chron.com/business/bizfeed/article/Houston-Spaceport-on-display-at-SpaceCom-12411282.php