Events

April 19, 2012

Business Development official visits Mojave Air/Space Port

by Raphael Jaffe
staff writer

David Knudsen a senior business development specialist with the California Office of Business and Economic Development visited Mojave Air and Space Port April 17, and was impressed by what he saw there.
He also attended the East Kern Airport District’s directors meeting.
Other highlights of the meeting included approval of consulting service agreements with prospective Colorado Front Range Spaceport consultants; approval of a $82,700 per year building and acreage lease; reminder of the May 22 Intermediate Space Challenge; a discussion of a Mojave Charter School and a progress report from Mojave Makers.

Knudsen visit

Knudsen was given a tour by CEO Stuart Witt, and this was the first time in the last 10 years that a California state official visited.
Knudsen saw the rail yard, Scaled Composites, the National Test Pilot School and Masten Space Systems. During a long discussion with Jeff Greason, president and co-founder of XCOR Aerospace, the pair discussed California’s business climate. Reportedly, Gleason frankly said, you can have regulation or business, not both at the same time.
Later, in an informal discussion with the press, Witt said “What good are regulations if there is no business.” He pointed to California’s rating as 50th out of the 50 states in having a business friendly climate. His opinion is that California is outstanding in product research and development, but that production will leave California.
He hopes that an informed consent law, which obviates the need of space flight firms to carry personal liability insurance, will be passed by the Legislature. All other states with spaceports do have such a law. This includes New Mexico, Florida and Virginia.
Witt pointed out to Knudsen that these state’s governors have personally approached Mojave firms with invitations to relocate. He has been told by former New Mexico Governor Richardson that California itself does the job of promoting relocation to New Mexico for him.

Front range spaceport consultants

The board has the option of trying to “build a moat around” its spaceport know-how, to use Witt’s phrase. Or it can opt to promote commercial spaceflight experiences worldwide.
It has previously worked with New Mexico and Oklahoma. The advantage to Mojave is salary recovery by charging for its staff manpower time. It voted to continue cooperation approving consultant agreements with two firms that are bidding to become spaceport consultants for the Colorado Front Range Space Port. The firms are HRD, and Scott Brown Inc. The later was active in design of Spaceport America, N.M.
The two firms are competing to become consultant to the Front Range Spaceport Authority. The winner would then request that Mojave provide professional consulting services in the following areas of expertise: spaceport operations, business development, spaceport licensing, environmental, facility analysis and design, public relations, and other areas mutually agreed upon.

Lease to Super Sonic Jets

Airport Bldg. 70, its ramp and acreage was leased to Super Sonic Jets, Inc. The annual rental is $82,725.60. Term is two years with six two-year options. The tenant will use the facility for the sole purpose of aircraft storage and other airport approved activities.

Intermediate Space Challenge

Board member Marie Walker started the Intermediate Space Challenge in 2005.
The activity is designed to engage the interest of 9 to 11 year old youngsters at their formative age in math, engineering and science through exposure to rockets. The event features two flights of each class’s rocket. The rockets are Estes Co. 16-inch models. Live arming and actual firing is done by Mojave Air/Space Port volunteer personnel. Two Edwards AFB outreach teams measure rocket height. The 4th through 6th grade classes are judged on rocket performance, rocket integration, a spirit banner, and an illustrated essay on rocketry.
The Aero Institute in Palmdale, Calif., with funding from NASa, has prepared a rocketry book and curriculum guide based on Walker’s work.
Walker told last year’s competitors, “This program will go across the nation. You boys and girls have made this happen.” There were about 1,000 participants last year, and this year’s event, being held May 22, will be larger. Mojave airport provides the space and volunteer “rocket chasers.” Increasingly, local schools have entered the competition. Tehachapi School District has started its own version.

Charter school

The airport is highly interested in helping to develop a charter school in Mojave.
There have been discussions with two groups that are interested. Impetus for a charter school is to make the town more attractive to the highly trained tenant employees, present and prospective. Witt has been approached to start a children’s day care center at the airport to benefit single parent employees. The airport cannot do this. He was hopeful that perhaps day care center could be a feature of a new charter school.
Tom Lackey who attended the meeting pointed out that the Palmdale aerospace academy charter school fond that cooperation with the local school board was important in the success of its establishment. Lackey is a Palmdale City Councilman and former school board member. He is seeking office as assemblyman.

Mojave Makers

Coordinator Mike Clive gave the board an informal progress report on the Mojave Makers group. There are now about 20 members and Clive expects that number go grow to 30 soon.
Clive also reported that the group expects to be self sustaining in the near future.
More shop tools, a mill and lathe have been donated. The application for incorporation as a public benefit corporation has been sent to Sacramento, and an account is being opened at Mojave Desert Bank.
Clive effusively thanked the board for its support. The board, in turn, feels that the group is an attractive “value added” feature that is provided for its tenants.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 31, 2015

News: Carter: Military leaders could arm more troops at home – Following the recent fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ordering the military services to consider new policies that would enhance security for troops at home, including potentially arming more personnel.   Business: DOD weighs supplier base,...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

U.S. delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt The United States Embassy in Cairo says the U.S. is delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of an ongoing military support package. It says in a July 30 statement that the aircraft, of the current Block 52 production variant, will be flown in from...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin successfully tests design changes for Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system

Lockheed Martin photograph A protective panel for Orion’s service module is jettisoned during testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California facility. This test series evaluated design changes to the spacecraft’s fair...
 

 

Australian company to provide parts for initial production of Triton UAS

Northrop Grumman has awarded the first Australian supplier contract for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system initial production lot to Ferra Engineering. Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering will manufacture mechanical sub-assemblies for the first four Triton air vehicles including structural components. “At Northrop Grumman it’s very important to not only develop...
 
 
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...
 
 

Insitu awarded LRIP Lot IV RQ-21A Blackjack Systems contract

Under the terms of its latest contract, Insitu will build six RQ-21A Blackjack systems for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The $78-million Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lot IV Low Rate Initial Production contract is the latest event in the program’s progression toward the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase.   “This award will...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>