This handout image provided by NASA shows a solar flare heading toward Earth. An impressive solar flare is heading toward Earth and could disrupt power grids, GPS and airplane flights. An impressive solar flare is heading toward Earth and could disrupt power grids, GPS and airplane flights. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center said the sun erupted Tuesday evening and the effects should start smacking Earth late Wednesday night, close to midnight EST. They say it is the biggest in five years and growing. (AP Photo/NASA)
Jacksonville, Fla. – August 4, 2012
Continuing his focus on developing Florida’s aerospace and high-tech industries, Governor Rick Scott celebrated the addition of Cecil Field Spaceport to Florida’s aerospace infrastructure during a ceremonial signing of House Bill 59, passed by the Florida Legislature during the 2012 Legislative Session.
“It is critical that we continue to focus on and invest in infrastructure projects that will directly benefit our state’s economy,” said Governor Scott. “Having Cecil Field designated as a spaceport will play a major role in the continued development of Florida’s aerospace and aviation industries and will continue to keep our economy heading in the right direction.”
House Bill 59 designates Cecil Field Spaceport and authorized any real property that is licensed by the FAA as a spaceport and designated as such by the board of directors of Space Florida as “spaceport territory” according to state statute. Space Florida is able to include Cecil Field Spaceport and any other designated state spaceports in its Spaceport Master Plan, which includes recommendations for infrastructure projects that meet current and future commercial, national, and state space transportation requirements.
On June 8, 2011, the Space Florida Board of Directors enacted a resolution to adopt Cecil Field as a state spaceport territory to be named Cecil Field Spaceport. Prior to passage of HB 59, Florida law only designated two areas as spaceport territories: Cape Canaveral Spaceport and Eglin Air Force Base.
According to Space Florida, the aerospace and aviation industry’s employment and economic impact to the State of Florida was $17.8 billion involving 3,891 companies, employing over 74,200 people with a $9.1 billion in total wages in 2010, the latest numbers available. In Duval, Nassau, St. Johns and Clay counties, the industry directly impacts 261 companies, employing over 6,781 people with more than $743 million in total wages.