There’s been still no funding commitment from the state legislature to fulfill a funding request from the state-owned Alaska Aerospace Corporation. The owners and operators of the Kodiak Launch Complex hosted a chamber of commerce reception on Friday where the corporation’s leadership insisted that both the governor and lawmakers recognized the value of maintaining an aerospace presence in Alaska.
Chief Operating Officer Craig Campbell, the state’s former lieutenant governor and a political ally of Governor Sean Parnell, says the corporation expects Juneau to come through.
— aerospace 1 :17 "We expect the state … of Alaska Aerospace."
The corporation had approached the administration for $10 million in operating funds. The governor obliged by inserting $4 million in his budget. But the Senate has removed that money in both versions of its capital budget.
Senate President Gary Stevens of Kodiak says he doubts the money would be reinserted into a final budget.
— aerospace 2 :39 "Well unfortunately … Kodiak city and borough."
Campbell says he recognizes that the Senate hasn’t supported the funding request but is holding out hope that the House of Representatives would come through. But House Majority Leader Alan Austerman of Kodiak, who sits on the corporation’s board as a non-voting member, says that’s unlikely.
— aerospace 3 :09 "Well right now … putting it in."
The Alaska Aerospace Corporation has faced economic challenges since losing its Missile Defense Agency contract last year. A rocket carrying a U.S. Air Force satellite is scheduled to be launched later this year from the Kodiak Launch Complex but that’s the only confirmed launch since last November’s successful mission from Narrow Cape.
Campbell says the corporation is aggressively going out for private contracts but admits it will likely need public support to finish out the year.
— aerospace 4 :25 "We have money … the problem would be."
The Aerospace Corporation has partnered with Lockheed Martin in a bid for ground-based missile defense at Fort Greeley. But there’s no indication when the winning bid will be awarded.