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State's spaceport looks to attract more aeronautical business

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The Oklahoma Spaceport in Burns Flat is going full throttle to lure space travel and rocket-launching businesses to western Oklahoma.

"Because of this facility, we have (a) world of opportunity," said Bill Khourie, executive director of the Oklahoma Space Industrial Development Authority.

At OSIDA's last board meeting, Khourie announced the spaceport is up and running, ready for space enthusiasts and rocket engineers to test their contraptions on the Oklahoma prairie.

Khourie reported the federal government, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is taking a good, hard look at the Oklahoma Spaceport for future development.

Private businesses also are interested in using the spaceport, Khourie told the board at its meeting in Burns Flat Sept. 26. But, some of these businesses are not interested in traveling through the Earth's stratosphere or blasting rockets hundreds of feet in the air.

"We're working with other companies (that) are looking to use our hangars for construction," Khourie said.

One company Khourie indicated may be interested wants to park part of its fleet of commercial aircraft at the spaceport's hangars for painting planes. It's one of the reasons why Khourie informed the board he would like permission to designate at least one spaceport hangar for industrial use.

But, perhaps the more long-term endeavor Khourie asked the board to look into is hiring a public relations and marketing consultant.

"Other states (with spaceports) use the government for public relations and marketing issues," Khourie said. "We don't have that advantage."

The consultant mainly would work on enticing businesses and industries to Burns Flat. "Scott Cooper and Ben Fenwick


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