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New Space Florida CEO outlines 2024 legislative priorities

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A new year means new legislative priorities for Space Florida.

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The state’s aerospace, finance, and development authority is looking to position Florida as the undisputed leader in aerospace commerce.

In 2024, Space Florida wants to strengthen the state’s standing as a global hub for aerospace commerce.

READ: Space Florida’s New President and CEO is on a Mission

Space Florida CEO Rob Long says space transportation infrastructure will be critical to the state’s success.

“It might include manufacturing facilities. It might include space launch type facilities,’ Long said. “But that’s the key, is it really provides us some flexibility and some options as we go forward to try to build a resilient transportation network that includes all parts of the state.”

READ: ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rocket successfully launches, but lunar lander hits a snag

State lawmakers have also filed bills that could expand Florida’s current spaceport system territory to include Tyndall Air Force base and Homestead Air Reserve Base.

“Those were two opportunities that we thought would complement the spaceport territory that we’ve already designated,” Long said. “It really complements and creates an entire network across the whole state.”

READ: NASA announces delays for Artemis missions

However, Space Florida is also looking for assistance on a national level. Long says making spaceport bonds tax exempt could be crucial for the development of the space industry.

“We think this is something that’s good for the entire nation,” Long said. “Of course, it does benefit the state, but ultimately, really if we want to invest nationally and build a national network or resilient network of launch capabilities, I think that taking on the tax exempt bonds at the federal level is extremely important.”

The Space Coast could see close to 100 launches this year and January is already setting the pace with three launches already so far in 2024.

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