ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Two delays at Spaceport America have the Spaceport Authority's director planning to ask the state for more money in order to complete an important project.
"My budget assumptions in fiscal year 2014 were that Virgin Galactic would start flying in February of 2014," NMSA Executive Director Christine Anderson said.
That, however, Anderson said is not going to happen. Instead she is projecting flights will now launch in August, which means another six months worth of lost revenue for the spaceport.
"My FY14 assumptions were off this year, so we had to manage through this year, this fiscal year, with less revenue than we expected," she said.
The delayed flights are not the only contributing factor though.
In a phone interview Wednesday afternoon Anderson said the visitor's experience was supposed to be ready by the end of this year, that is also not going to happen.
"Several million dollars a year. It's really a significant source of revenue," said Anderson.
Anderson said the two delays combined meant she had to dip into money set aside to build part of the southern road to the spaceport to pay the bills.
"It's a pretty important road because if you're coming from the southern part of the state, that road shaves off about an hour rather than go all the way up to (Truth or Consequences) and then come back down," she said.
Right now, they can only pay for the first phase of the project, which would take care of a majority of the work.
"I'm going back to the Legislature this year to see if I can get money for Phase 2 of the road, which will be about $6.9 million," Anderson said.
Anderson said if they don't get that money the work completed through Phase 1 will still vastly improve the road.
When it comes to the delays, Anderson told KRQE News 13 it is just part of the process adding that while she would like to see Virgin fly sooner, the bottom line is they will fly when its safe.
Right now, NMSA is working to get a construction loan to start building the visitor's center.
The goal is to have it up and running by the end of next year.
"It's really an important piece of making the Spaceport successful and also enjoyable by our visitors," Anderson said.
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