Front Range Airport Programmatic Environmental Assessment


In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), Council on Environmental Quality NEPA implementing regulations, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order 1050.1F, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, the FAA is announcing the availability of the Final Programmatic Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact/Record of Decision for Front Range Airport Launch Site Operator License, Spaceport Colorado (Final PEA and FONSI/ROD). A copy of the Final PEA and FONSI/ROD are available on this website for download:

  • Spaceport Colorado Final PEA and FONSI/ROD (PDF)
  • Spaceport Colorado Final PEA Appendix A through H (PDF)
    • Appendix A: Using this Programmatic EA to Tier Future NEPA Reviews
    • Appendix B: United States Fish and Wildlife Service Information, Planning, and Conservation Report
    • Appendix C: Air Quality Emission Calculations
    • Appendix D: Front Range Noise Analysis
    • Appendix E: Scoping Materials
    • Appendix F: Agency Consultation and Tribal Coordination
    • Appendix G: Airfields and Airspace
    • Appendix H: Environmental Data Resources Report for Front Range Airport
  • Spaceport Colorado Final PEA Appendix I through K (PDF)
    • Appendix I: Summary of Comments Received on Draft PEA and FAA Responses
    • Appendix J: Congressional Letter to the FAA Administrator & FAA Administrator Response
    • Appendix K: Copies of the Comments Received on the Draft PEA

The Board of County Commissioners (the BOCC) of Adams County proposes to operate a commercial space launch site, called "Spaceport Colorado," at the Front Range Airport (FTG), in Watkins, Colorado. This requires a launch site operator license from the FAA. FTG is a 3,200-acre general aviation airport located in the northeast quadrant of the Denver metropolitan area and approximately 5 miles southeast of the Denver International Airport in Adams County, Colorado. Under the Proposed Action, the FAA would issue a launch site operator license to the BOCC, which would authorize the BOCC to offer Spaceport Colorado to commercial launch providers to conduct launch operations of horizontal take-off and horizontal landing reusable launch vehicles (RLVs). The FAA would also conditionally approve FTG's modified Airport Layout Plan (ALP) showing the launch site boundary.

The launch site operator license would not authorize FAA-licensed launches from the site; a separate launch license from the FAA would be required. If a prospective launch operator applies for a license to operate a launch vehicle from the site, a separate environmental document, tiering from this PEA, would be required to support the license.

The Final PEA evaluated the potential environmental impacts of the Proposed Action and the No Action Alternative. Under the No Action Alternative, the FAA would not issue a launch site operator license to the BOCC for the operation of Spaceport Colorado, FTG would not be available to potential RLV launch operators, and there would be no need to conditionally approve the FTG ALP.

On April 18, 2018, the FAA published the Draft PEA for a 30-day public comment period ending May 25, 2018. In response to preliminary comments received on the Draft PEA, the FAA extended the comment period from May 25, 2018 to June 15, 2018. The FAA also held a stakeholder meeting during the day and an evening public meeting on May 17, 2018 to solicit comments from stakeholders and the general public concerning the Draft PEA. The public meeting included a public statement period in which members of the public provided up to three-minute statements. Statements were recorded as public comments and are included in the public meeting transcript in Appendix K of the PEA.

In total, 129 public comments were received. As a result of the comments received, the FAA made minor revisions to the PEA and developed three new appendices. Appendix I provides a summary of the comments received and FAA's responses. Appendix J provides a copy of correspondence with Congressional representatives and the FAA. Appendix K includes copies of the comments received from the public.

Last updated: Wednesday, May 12, 2021