The City of Houston proposed this aerospace infrastructure project to help establish Texas as a national and international hub for commercial space transportation. The trends in the aerospace industry are shifting toward smaller launches with the rise of smaller satellites, an emerging suborbital space-tourism market, and a national security environment demanding speedy launch capability. In response to these changes in space transportation, this Houston Airport Systems project will construct a site at Ellington Airport (EFD) for commercial space-launch-vehicle operators to conduct horizontal take-off and horizontal landing of smaller reusable launch vehicles (RLVs).
EFD has approximately 2,600 acres of land with three active runways, eight active taxiways, and one active taxi lane. Runway 17R-35L is 9,001 feet (ft) long by 150 ft wide. Runway 17L-35R, the shortest runway, is 4,609 ft long by 75 ft wide. Runway 4-22, the crosswind runway, is 8,001 ft long by 150 ft wide. The crosswind runway is not certified under Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 139 for commercial use.
Mission Critical has worked with Texas Sterling, Banicki, and Design Engineer Kimley-Horne on similar procurements in the past, with a previous award of the $24M Houston Airport System Hardstand project.