Publicly-funded New Mexico spaceport seeks confidentiality

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Operators of a taxpayer-funded spacecraft launch facility in southern New Mexico are seeking greater confidentiality for tenants that include aspiring commercial spaceflight company Virgin Galactic.

Top officials with the New Mexico Spaceport Authority that runs Spaceport America are scheduled to visit the state Capitol on Monday as they seek an increase in state funding. Spaceport America operators also want the Legislature to restrict public access to information about technology, security and customers at the facility.

A bill backed by GOP Gov. Susana Martinez and Democratic Senate President Mary Kay Papen would exempt a variety of spaceport records from the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act.

New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Executive Director Peter St. Cyr says the bill could interfere with appropriate public scrutiny of spaceport management and operations.

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