Sierra Nevada Corporation is keeping strong its leading position on the market of civilian spaceplanes – in fact at the moment there is no potential competition, which could interrupt SNC in creating monopoly on this segment of space market. But Sierra Nevada is not going to rest on laurels and is still continuing campaign for acquiring as many landing and launch sites as possible to hit the market with Dream Chaser.
It is another sign confirming how seriously Sierra Nevada Corporation engaged into Dream Chaser. Initiative for the certification of civilian airports for Dream Chaser started on September 10, 2015, as Dream Chaser-Preferred Landing Site Program. It covers cooperation with authorities and management of Airports around the world for creating appropriate conditions for landing of Dream Chaser after returning from space commercial missions. Receiving certificate from Sierra Nevada Corporation will open door for airport to provide services for Dream Chaser landing and maybe even post flight services. Airports and spaceports in the USA declared readiness for starting process of the certification last year and this number is growing dynamically according to SNC. Sierra Nevada Corporation is also looking for spaceports able to serve as place to launch Dream Chaser. One of considered locations is Texas with Houston Airport System which is at the moment managing three airports.
To airports and spaceports like Houston’s Ellington Airport or Huntsville International Airport, which are going to open for Dream Chaser in future, joined on November 3 2016, Midland International Air & Space Port. Operated by Midland Development Corporation airport was already earlier certified by FAA as spaceport. Obtaining certificate from SNC means, that Airport has probably first customer utilizing civilian airport during commercial space missions. This fact will result in increasing number of employees and new contracts between Airport and present and future contractors. Certification received by Midland International Air & Space Port is great success for Texas, which is showing how space industry opens locally new business opportunities. In the near future probably next Airport will receive certification. Alabama with Huntsville International Airport are still waiting for FAA certification, which allows officially for landing of space vehicle at airport and will give possibility for receiving SNC certificate.