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Dec 19, 2012

The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 4)

Posted by in categories: business, economics, engineering, geopolitics, philosophy, policy, space

Last month a colleague of mine and I visited with Dennis Heap, Executive Director of the National Front Range Airport, at Watkins, CO, the location of the future Spaceport Colorado, and Colorado’s contribution to getting into space. Here is Part 4.

In Part 4, I dwell more into the economic concepts necessary for a spaceports’ long term success. The single most important concept one has to understand with any type of port, airport, seaport and spaceports is the concept of the hinterland economy. The hinterland economy is the surrounding local economy that the port services, either by population demographics, commercial & industrial base or transportation hub per its geographic location.

The Sweden-America model, like Westport Malaysia requires that a hinterland economy will eventually be built close to the port. Westport’s then Vice-Chairman of the Board, Gnanalingam (we called him ‘G’) whom I reported to, had the foresight, the influence and the connections within the Malaysian public sector, to encourage the infrastructure development within Pulah Indah and the neighboring locations.

The hinterland is critical to the success of the port. Therefore the key to a port’s success is the clarification of the term ‘local’ in the definition of the concept of the hinterland. When I joined Westport in 1995, a hinterland was defined as within approximately a 15 mile (24 km) radius of the port. In my opinion that was too small a segment of the economy to facilitate the success of Westport. That definition did not match up with Westport’s ambition to be a world class seaport and transshipment hub that could give PSA (Port Authority of Singapore, then largest container port in the world) a run for its money.

Continue reading “The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 4)” »


Dec 15, 2012

The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 1)

Posted by in categories: business, defense, engineering, finance, geopolitics, space

Last month a colleague of mine and I visited with Dennis Heap, Executive Director of the National Front Range Airport, at Watkins, CO, the location of the future Spaceport Colorado, and Colorado’s contribution to getting into space.

On April 19, 2012, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill that limited a spaceflight entity’s liability for spaceflight participants and paved the way for Spaceport Colorado’s development. The Front Range Airport Authority situated on 3,900 acres will allocate 900 acres towards the development and construction of Spaceport Colorado and ancillary facilities. The next steps are the completion of an environmental assessment, and feasibility and marketing study. This is expected to be completed by end of 2013.

In the 1995–96 I was Head of Corporate Planning at Westport, a $1 billion seaport infrastructure project in Malaysia, where I created and deployed the 7-hour port strategy, streamlined financial controls, container handling and container tariffs, reducing incoming (wharf to gate) dwell time to zero hours compared to the then world’s largest container port, Port Authority of Singapore’s (PSA) 18-hours. Westport was able to grow substantially, to the point where, in 2011, Westport handled 6.4 million TEUs compared to PSA’s 29.9 million TEUs. (TEU = Twenty-foot Equivalent Units or half a container)

So it caught my attention when Dennis Heap said Spaceport Colorado will be 33 miles (53 km) east of the city of Denver and about 6 miles (10 km) south of Denver International Airport (DIA).

Continue reading “The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 1)” »