Frequently Asked Questions
- How long is the primary runway?
- How large is the Spaceport's fabric hangar?
- Can I watch the launch?
- Can you tell us how Cecil became a Spaceport?
Q. How long is the primary runway?
Cecil Air and Spaceport's primary runway is 12,503 feet long. At over two miles long, Cecil maintains the third longest runway in the state of Florida. Cecil's runway can accommodate any production aircraft flying today. Cool fact: During the Space Shuttle program, Cecil Airport was designated a divert point in the event of an emergency during launch.
Q. How large is the Spaceport's fabric hangar?
The fabric hangar located on the Spaceport Ramp is 18,200 square feet with a center height of 51 feet. The facility was designed to accommodate aircraft as large as a 737-800. The hangar includes 120v electric service as well 400 Hz aircraft ground power.
Q. Can I watch the launch?
Currently, there is no public viewing area for space launches at Cecil Spaceport. Due to the nature of horizontal space launches, the actual launch occurs miles away over the Atlantic Ocean. The operations you will actually see on the ground will be a traditional aircraft departing the airport/spaceport carrying a rocket.
Q. Can you tell us how Cecil became a Spaceport?
Cecil Spaceport has a legacy that began at the start of World War II. In 1942, The United States Navy purchased a large parcel of land on the westside of Jacksonville that would become Naval Air Station Cecil Field. Naval airmen would receive primary dive-bombing training and move on to the naval fleet to fight in the war. As the jet age emerged, NAS Cecil Field would become the US Navy's largest master jet base. Fighter squadrons from Cecil fought in every major war including the Korean War, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. In October of 1999, the US Navy decided to decommission Cecil Field, and the airfield was turned over to the Jacksonville Aviation Authority who operates the airport and spaceport to this day.
In 2007, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority began work on an application for an FAA Launch Site Operator License to conduct horizontal space launches from Cecil Airport. This study explored environmental impacts, flight paths and trajectories of various launch vehicles and determined the impact of storing explosive materials such as RP-1 and liquid oxygen. The study determined that a carrier aircraft could safely depart a spaceport located at Cecil, launch a captive-carried space vehicle into low earth orbit and return to Cecil as a conventional aircraft.
In January of 2010, the FAA granted the Jacksonville Aviation Authority a launch site operator license to conduct horizontal space launches from Cecil Spaceport. The Florida Legislature approved a resolution designating Cecil Spaceport a "Space Territory", thus making Cecil eligible for funding through the Florida Department of Transportation and Space Florida.
Today, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority along with partners at Space Florida and the Florida Department of Transportation have constructed an aircraft hangar, ramp space, and office facilities to support the growing commercial space industry. Cecil Spaceport is strategically positioned to support the next generation of commercial space flight.