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Front Range Airport Programmatic Environmental Assessment


In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is announcing the availability of the Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for Front Range Airport Launch Site Operator License, Spaceport Colorado. A copy of the Draft PEA is available this website for download:

The FAA released the Draft PEA for public review on April 18, 2018 and asked the public to provide comments by May 25, 2018. In response to preliminary comments received on the Draft PEA, the FAA is extending the comment period from May 25, 2018 to June 15, 2018.

The FAA held a public meeting to solicit comments on the Draft PEA on Thursday, May 17, 2018, from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm at:

Front Range Airport
5200 Front Range Parkway
Watkins, CO 80137

At the meeting, the FAA described the proposed action and no action alternative, potential impacts of the proposed action, and the environmental review process. There was a public statement period in which members of the public provided up to three-minute statements. The PowerPoint presentation and poster boards from the scoping meeting are available here:

The FAA encourages all interested parties to provide comments concerning the content and analysis in the Draft PEA by June 15, 2018. Comments can be sent by email to Comments can also be mailed to Ms. Stacey M. Zee, FAA Environmental Specialist, c/o ICF, 9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031.

Comments should be as specific as possible and address the analysis of potential environmental impacts and the adequacy of the proposed action or the merits of the alternatives being considered. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has prepared a Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the Adams County, Colorado Board of County Commissioners’ (the BOCC's) proposal to operate to operate a commercial space launch site at the Front Range Airport (FTG), in Watkins, Colorado. The Adams County BOCC would offer the site to one or more commercial launch operators for the operation of horizontal take-off and horizontal landing reusable launch vehicles (RLVs). Under the Proposed Action to be addressed in the PEA, the FAA would:

  • Issue a launch site operator license to the Adams County BOCC for the operation of a commercial space launch site at FTG;
  • Conditionally approve the modified Airport Layout Plan (ALP) showing the launch site boundary.

While this PEA analyzes the conceptual operations of launch vehicles that could operate at FTG, a separate environmental document, tiering off of this PEA, would be required to support the issuance of a launch operator license to prospective launch operators that would allow them to conduct horizontal launches and horizontal landings of launch vehicles at FTG.

Next Steps and the Final PEA

All comments received during the public comment period on the Draft PEA will be given equal weight and taken into consideration during the preparation of the Final PEA. In preparing the final PEA, the FAA will revise the draft PEA to reflect comments received, issues raised through the public involvement and public meeting process, and other considerations.

The final PEA will identify and discuss any unresolved environmental issues and efforts to resolve them through further consultation. The final PEA will reflect compliance with the requirements of all applicable special purpose laws and requirements, including Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. If such compliance is not possible by the time of final PEA preparation, the final PEA will reflect consultation with the appropriate agencies and provide reasonable assurance that the requirements can be met.


The FAA invited interested agencies, organizations, Native American tribes, and members of the public to submit comments or suggestions to assist in identifying environmental issues and in determining the appropriate scope of the PEA.

In addition, the FAA held a scoping meeting to provide information about the proposed project and environmental review process, and solicited input from the public on potential environmental issues that may need to be evaluated in the PEA. The meeting was held on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, from 5:00 pm to 8:00pm at:

Front Range Airport, Restaurant Area
5200 Front Range Parkway
Watkins, CO 80137

A PowerPoint presentation and poster boards from the scoping meeting are available here:

Scoping comments were received until July 13, 2017, and can members of the public were invited to submit comments in two ways:

  1. Submitting comments electronically to:
  2. Mailing your comments to: Stacey Zee
    Federal Aviation Administration
    c/o ICF
    9300 Lee Highway
    Fairfax, VA 22031

A copy of the final scoping report is available here:

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