On Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration approved a spaceport license application for the Midland International Airport (MAF), making the airport the first of its kind to be federally-licensed for commercial air and space flights.
“We are the 9th spaceport in the United States, but the first one that [also] has commercial service operations,” says Marv Esterly, Director of Airports at Midland International.
Esterly was on hand in Washington, D.C. to accept the license approval.
The Midland Development Corporation (MDC) announced the news Wednesday morning, noting that the airport will now be called the “Midland International Air & Space Port.” The MDC tweeted a photo of Esterly in Washington:
Midland receives official spaceport license approval from the FAA. Hello Midland International Air & Spaceport. pic.twitter.com/rSEEKJOyQ9
— MidlandTXEDC (@MidlandTXEDC) September 17, 2014
Esterly says the news is “truly exciting,” and that the arrival of the private space industry to Midland could mean new revenue streams for the airport.