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Guam seeking to expand airport activities, eyeing space flights

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

Seeking to tap economic opportunities in the aerospace industry, Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio will make a push for Guam as a prime spot for expanded aviation operations, including space flights.

Tenorio will make a pitch at the 2023 Aerospace States Association (ASA) Annual Meeting and Policy Summit, which opens today in Boulder, Colorado.

Joshua Tenorio

“Guam’s participation provides us with a unique opportunity to influence and shape federal aerospace and aviation policy and create opportunities for our island to diversify our economy,” said Tenorio, who will moderate a panel discussion for “Emerging Market Opportunities” at the four-day event.

The panel discussion will feature top officials from Maxar, AstroScale US, Advanced Space, and CisLunar, according to the governor’s office.

According to a press release from the governor's office, Tenorio will focus on promoting the Antonio B. Won Pat Guam International Airport.

The Guam airport currently serves 12 carriers including inter-island cargo arlines.

In 2019, Guam banked on the Virgin Orbit’s announcement that the island's civilian airport would be used as a launch site for the company’s LauncherOne service. The plan, however, fell through as the rocket company filed for bankruptcy this year.

This time, the administration is pinning its hopes on the proposed establishment of a Space Force National Guard.

Space Force units are being proposed for seven states — Colorado, California, Hawaii, Alaska, New York, Ohio, Florida — and Guam.


“Guam also plays an undeniable role in ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Tenorio said. “I look forward to promoting the Guam National Guard and seeking support to expand its capabilities and mission to support the defense of our island.”

Tenorio will meet with the commanders of the U.S. Space Command, U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Northern Command and NORAD as part of the administration's efforts to bolster community defense initiatives for the island.

"The engagement with ASA is timely as we prepare to learn more about Guam’s planned role in the Pacific Deterrence initiative and the Guam Missile Defense Program during the upcoming scoping activities by the Missile Defense Agency,” Tenorio said.

In an official notice posted on the Federal Register in May, the MDA said the Department of the Navy will need more land and airspace to meet the strategic requirements of building the multiple components of the enhanced integrated air and missile defense system on Guam.

These proposed components include missile defense radars and sensors, missile interceptor launchers, and command and control systems.

MDA said it anticipated the need for airspace modification at sites where radars would be located. Airspace issues would be coordinated with the Federal Aviation Authority.

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