Though the spaceport is well into development is still has a few big hurdles to surpass. First they have architectural designs that need to be finalized, then there is the issue of an environmental impact study, and New Mexico has to vote on a .25% tax increase in Sierra County.
The project has to be paid for somehow and New Mexico plans to do this by adding .25% in taxes for Sierra County which will be voted for on April 22. The upcoming April tax vote, if approved, would lead to the creation of a spaceport district that could spend county-collected revenue on the project. Proponents say that the increase in value of the land around the spaceport, the increase in jobs, the flow of tourists would make the tax increase very minuscule.
Also an environmental impact statement for Spaceport America also be completed in order to obtain a Federal Aviation Administration spaceport license that would allow construction work on the spaceport to begin. It will have to be proven that the Spaceport will be environmentally friendly, preserves the frontier history of the area, and coexists with the existing region as the spaceport absorbs some of its land. The predictions are that the Spaceport will easily pass the test but officials don't really know what will happen.
And the final stumbling block will be perfecting the architecture and engineering plans for the Spaceport. Last August, a team of U.S. and British architects and designers were selected to design the terminal and hangar which are projected to cost about $31 million, and will provide a destination experience for visitors to Spaceport America. The hanger is designed mainly to hold Virgin Galactic's White Knight 2 and SpaceShipTwo, though they hope to accommodate any possible launches.
Steven Landeene the executive director of Spaceport America says that they plan to "Create a spaceport facility that's environmentally friendly, having a look and feel that's unique and like nothing that's ever been done before ... something that has a memorable and iconic type of global attraction to it. We've got a big project ahead of us." And hopefully they will complete their project as it is supposed to be. I would imagine that with a spaceport dedicated solely to commercial spaceflight that it will create a revolution in the private space industry. I should be interesting to see what happens, and as we all know, only time will tell.