WOODBINE — Legislation that could help establish a spaceport in Camden County is headed to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk.
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, has been working on the proposed legislation, called the Georgia Space Flight Act, for two years.
The legislation provides limited protection to spaceflight operators from frivolous lawsuits and employees who understand the risks of spaceflight.
“The passage of the Georgia Space Flight Act sends a strong signal to the commercial space flight industry that Georgia is open for business,” Spencer said. “For the past four years, Georgia has been named the best state in the nation to do business. I am confident aerospace companies are going to agree that Spaceport Camden is also the best spot in the nation to launch rockets.”
The legislation is expected to be sent to the governor at the conclusion of the current legislative session on March 30. The governor has 40 days to sign or veto the legislation. If the governor does not act, the legislation automatically becomes law.
Dick Parker, a Little Cumberland Island property owner and opponent of a commercial spaceport in Camden County, said the House vote was not unexpected.
“It became an educational opportunity for us,” he said of the effort to block the legislation. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to tell our part of the story.”
Parker is among a group of Little Cumberland and Cumberland Island residents opposed to a proposed spaceport because of safety, environmental and noise concerns from rockets being launched over the barrier island.
Parker said he and other opponents are waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration’s environmental and hazard assessments to be released.
“We are in a responsive mode,” he said. “I don’t know what to anticipate will happen next.”