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Spaceport Paso Robles could be created with Cal Poly proposal

SLO Days to be held virtually for 2020 summer orientation.
Posted at 6:24 AM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 09:24:56-04

At a special meeting on Tuesday the Paso Robles City Council, Planning Commission, and Airport Commission discussed the feasibility of creating a spaceport at the Paso Robles Airport after a report was conducted by Tartaglia Engineering.

Cal Poly submitted a letter of intent expressing an interest in exploring an operational relationship at the Spaceport as part of its learn by doing plan.

"This will just be an approval to keep going ahead with the process," said Ryan Nugent, Cal Poly CubeSat Lab Director.

During the meeting, the council approved the letter of intent in a 5-0 vote.

"To build the spaceport, it has to be approved by the FAA, so this is just the first step in what will be a long process of doing that," said Nugent.

Cal Poly faculty members said that the university would benefit from having a spaceport in the area, potentially bringing in project partners and vendors.

"It would be great for the area. It'd bring a whole bunch of tech industry related to space," said Nugent.

The city is planning on building a tech corridor around the spaceport project with the intention of bringing in different industries working in space technology and creating additional jobs.

"To be able to have that only a few minutes away as opposed to a 3-hour drive or a 3-hour plane flight would be a huge advantage for us," said Nugent.

Some see this as an opportunity to retain Cal Poly engineering grads who might otherwise go to nearby Silicon Valley.

"We're definitely hoping this will be approved tonight. We're really excited to see this moving forward," said Nugent.

There are many steps involved in obtaining a spaceport license. There is a 28-month plan in order to obtain the license by June 2024.