Gov. DeSantis announces $6M investment in Cecil Airport to help space operations

Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference at Cecil Field in Jacksonville. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Jacksonville on Thursday morning to announce a $6 million investment to help build roads at Cecil Airport, a public airport and commercial spaceport.

The money will come from Florida’s Job Growth Grand Fund and go towards building nearly two miles of roadway at the airport.

“All the utility infrastructure necessary to support commercial space and business expansion at the Cecil spaceport will be included in this and this will allow a significant increase in launch operations from the spaceport,” DeSantis said.

Generation Orbit, a company that is developing hypersonic crafts and satellite launch systems, is scheduled to begin space launch operations at Cecil Airport next year, DeSantis said.

“Overall with the investments we’re making, Cecil Airport is expected to more than double the number of employees adding 3,780 new jobs and bringing the total number of jobs at the airport to 6,251,” DeSantis said. “The infrastructure project is also expected to almost double the economic impact of Cecil Airport to more than $7 billion annually.”

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After the investment announcement, DeSantis addressed government rules issued Thursday that say tens of millions of Americans who work at companies with 100 or more employees will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4 or get tested for the virus weekly. DeSantis sued the Biden administration over a similar mandate that affects federal contractors and called lawmakers into a special session on Nov. 15 to take up legislation to prevent vaccine mandates enacted by businesses.

“They do not have the authority to unilaterally impose this through an executive agency like OSHA,” DeSantis said. “They’re abusing emergency power to be able to do what they would not be able to get through the Congress and do in a constitutional way. And so we are going to be challenging that and I think this rule is absolutely going down.”

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Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.

Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.