EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Spaceport America, located about 20 miles southeast of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, had an economic impact of more than $240 million in 2022 and had a hand in more than 800 jobs in Southern New Mexico, according to an economic impact study that was released this weekend.
The combined economic impact of Spaceport America’s operations and activities for New Mexico in 2022 were as follows: 549 direct jobs and 811 total jobs; $138 million in economic output, $60 million in value-added production; and $46 million in labor income; and $12.9 million in taxes generated including $9.2 million in federal taxes and $3.7 million in taxes in New Mexico.
The report was done in partnership between the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, the New Mexico State University Arrowhead Center and the Center for Border Economic Development (C-BED).
“It is a cliché to say, ‘Space is hard’, but nothing travels to space without a spaceport. My staff and I, and the state of New Mexico, can honestly say ‘Spaceporting is hard’ as well,” said Spaceport America Executive Director Scott McLaughlin.
“This has been a long road requiring patience by the citizens and policy makers of New Mexico. It is also impressive that Virgin Galactic has continued their hard work and operations over the years, and now has gone to space three times this year,” McLaughlin added. “Their efforts, combined with those of our other tenants and numerous additional customers, are truly making a positive impact for jobs and the economy. Importantly though, we shouldn’t look at the spaceport in insolation, but should view what it does for the entire region, and how it catalyzes building a complete aerospace ecosystem.”
The New Mexico Space Authority plans to work with the Arrowhead Center and NMSU C-BED to generate an economic impact report on an annual basis, according to the release.
Spaceport America “is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in Southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot by 200-foot runway, vertical launch complexes, and about 340 days of sunshine and low humidity,” according to the release.
To view the report, click here.