According to an October 8, 2013 story in MyWestTexas,com, the transition of XCOR, a space tourism company, to its new R&D headquarters in Midland, Texas is still proceeding, but slower than had been expected, The currently California based company had announced the Midland facility in July, 2012.
Part of the holdup appears to be the slow pace of approval for designating Midland Airport a space port, necessary to fly the XCOR Lynx rocket plane in Texas.
“Despite Midland International Airport’s lack of spaceport designation license, Andrew Nelson, COO and vice president of business development for XCOR, said he is confident the situation will get better.
“He said the spaceport license process has been a coordinated effort with no pushback, but then the government shutdown affected the Federal Aviation Administration, the agency responsible for granting spaceport licenses. Nelson also explained that the license application itself is complicated because it requires several components such as a physical security plan and an emergency response plan.
“As of now, the application is at the environmental assessment phase, as previously reported.”
In the meantime local hiring and plans to renovate a hanger at the Midland Airport are proceeding apace. The Lynx will probably undergo flight testing at the Mojave Spaceport in California pending final approval of the Midland spaceport.