Oscar Garcia quoted in the MRT (Midland Reporter - Telegram)
Midland continues to attract space business 12 companies are in discussion for projects, InterFlight Global Corp. chairman tells MDC board By Mella McEwen, MRT.com/Midland Reporter-Telegram Published 2:00 pm CDT, Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Midland sits in the center of a hub with six spaceports licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration, Oscar Garcia, chairman and chief executive officer of InterFlight Global Corp., told Midland Development Corp. board members at their monthly meeting on Monday. InterFlight has contracted with the MDC to help procure tenants for the Spaceport Business Park.
The popular nickname “Tall City” could take on new meaning as the Midland International Air and Space Port continues to attract new commercial space business. Midland sits in the center of a hub with six spaceports licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration, Oscar Garcia, chairman and chief executive officer of InterFlight Global Corp., told Midland Development Corp. board members at their monthly meeting on Monday. InterFlight has contracted with the MDC to help procure tenants for the Spaceport Business Park.
Three tenants – Avellan Space Technology & Science, Nano Avionics and Kepler Aerospace – already have set up shop. The three companies, which have taken up occupancy at the business park since 2018, have created over 200 jobs. Garcia said 12 more companies are in active discussion for projects ranging from a hotel at the airport to manufacturing both civilian and military aircraft and spacecraft. He said he expects three to six more companies in the near future. Citing delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Garcia told board member Jill Pennington he is confident at least three more will be signed by the end of 2021. Rather than attending trade shows, InterFlight brings three or four companies at a time to Midland to visit the facilities. Fifty companies already have visited, and additional “familiarization” trips are set for October and December, Garcia said. A specialized high-speed flight workshop is planned for February. Midland, with its skies considered to be among the clearest in the nation to fly, is drawing interest from the commercial space industry, he said. That industry is forecast to grow to $1 billion globally and $600 million a year in the U.S. by 2030, according to Garcia. “The air space offers a lot of space where companies can fly vehicles, test and research hypersonic vehicles, launch rockets into space,” he said. Already the home of Space Mobile, the world’s first direct to cellphone satellite constellation, Midland could also be home to the first point-to-point space flight, which has never been done before, Garcia said. Noting that Spaceport America in New Mexico is only 250 miles from Midland, he said high-speed vehicles are expected to fly from Midland to Spaceport America next year to demonstrate what the space corridor could look like. “We aim next year to hold a demonstration from Midland to Spaceport America and back on the same day to prove it’s possible,” Garcia said.