FAA approves license for spaceport in Camden County; judge temporarily blocks purchase of land

(Camden County, Ga.)
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 11:55 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2021 at 11:04 PM EST
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CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a license for Camden County to operate the Spaceport Camden site.

An important note is that the license only allows the county to start operating the site as a potential launch location. Any actual rocket launches will require their own permit.

A statement the FAA sent Monday said, in part, “After completing an environmental and safety review, the FAA is issuing a license for Spaceport Camden in Georgia. This license does not authorize a single launch.”

The FAA made it clear this license only allows the county to start operating the site as a potential launch location. That’s the next phase for the county, but some people want it to stop.

“I mean we’re not gonna be launching to the moon, but we’re still launching rockets and it will be historical here in Georgia,” said Gary Blount, Chairman of Camden County Board of Commissioners.

Blount says they’re in discussions for a possible launch in 18 months.

“It was all about bringing jobs and industry to Camden County, something we have not had in more than 60 years coming here.”

The county anticipates creating hundreds of full-time jobs with salaries starting at $75,000.

But residents have been fighting this for years. Some who filed a petition say they’re being misled.

“It’s simply not true. There’s no documentation. No back-up. No research cited whatsoever,” said Paul Harris, resident against the spaceport.

One of the biggest concerns of the site - contaminating the environment.

“A site that is heavily contaminated. It’s got unexploded ordinances it’s got barrels of old pesticides and contamination located throughout the property and Camden County is gonna own that property. The taxpayers are going to be responsible for cleaning it up,” said Megan Desrosiers, CEO of 100 Miles.

That was Megan Desrosiers, CEO of an environmental non-profit working to stop this like other residents.

“We deserve to have the right to determine how our tax funds are spent,” said Jim Goodman, resident against the spaceport.

“The citizens of Camden County whose money they’re spending at a tremendous rate for which they have nothing to show so far should say do we want this to continue or not? And if the citizens in that referendum say we support the space port...we think it should keep going, more power to them,” said Paul Harris, resident against the spaceport.

100 miles got more than 3,000 signatures to force a referendum election.

An injunction was filed in Camden County Superior Court to stop the project until citizens can have the vote. A probate court judge temporarily blocked the purchase of land on Wednesday. The temporary restraining order will block the purchase of the Spaceport Camden site until a January 5 court hearing.


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