Mayor: Optimistic about future of Spaceport Business Park after recent XCOR layoffs

Mayor: Optimistic about future of Spaceport Business Park after recent XCOR layoffs

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Questions remain after XCOR lays off most of their employees at the Spaceport Business Park in Midland. The company says its all because of money troubles. Despite the setback, the mayor says he is optimistic about the future of the business park.

A flight to space from Midland, put on hold.

"We were very shocked and disappointed, as you can imagine. Knowing that we thought things were going in the right direction," said Mayor Jerry Morales.

The goal of space travel has been on the mind the city for years.

Midland became the only commercial airport with the title of spaceport in 2014.

"We had to do an environmental assessment. We had consultants that we worked with and we had to work through a lot of obstacles with the FAA," said Justine Ruff, director of airports.

A process that took two years.

"What's happening with the XCOR doesn't necessarily affect our spaceport designation at all. We have a license with the FAA," said Ruff.

Despite the recent layoffs, Mayor Jerry Morales says the business park renovations will continue.

"There is dirt being moved, new water and sewer infrastructure being put in, roads and truly trying to create a park atmosphere, hotels, sidewalks, and roadways and so forth," said Morales.

Morales says the development of the business park could be attractive to other companies who want to call the Tall City home.

"We have the hangar in place. There's opportunities to lease part of the hangar out to other companies. It could become a commercial industrial zone," said Morales.

While Morales says the city is optimistic about XCOR continuing their work for space travel, he says the city has made a name for itself in the space industry.

"Hopefully, through XCOR or other companies, there is still an interest out there trying to bring whether it be satellites, shuttles, maintenance to those programs here to Midland, Texas," said Morales.

The mayor says it is all a waiting game. They should know more about what challenges XCOR is facing in the coming weeks.

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