Midland Development Corporation and MITRE sign agreement to advance spaceport

24 Jan 2024

News, Feature

Midland, TX and McLean, VA, January 23, 2023 - MITRE, a not-for-profit technology company, and the Midland Development Corporation (MDC), the economic development organization for Midland, Texas signed an agreement to work together to accelerate their common vision for commercial space and high-speed flight operations in the United States. MDC and MITRE will cooperate on research and development projects and operation demonstrations that are of critical importance to enabling commercial space and high-speed flight operations at Midland International Air and Space Port.

The future of aviation and space represents a significant opportunity for dramatic changes in mobility at large. Working together, MITRE and MDC will focus on enabling early advancements to accelerate operational learning and coordinate essential information for decision makers.

“This agreement focuses on knowledge sharing and research that will enable regional innovation, including education, workforce, and economic development and diversification,” said Lourcey Sams, MDC board chairman. “We're delighted to have MITRE as our partner in this endeavor.”

In 2022, the MDC commissioned a study to assess the feasibility of developing high-speed airspace corridors accessible from Midland International Air and Space Port to support a range of potential aerospace systems. These include subsonic and supersonic aircraft, hypersonic systems, and suborbital launch vehicles. More development and stakeholder engagement are needed to make these plans operational. 

“Midland is setting a course to lead the way in accelerating commercial space and high-speed flight operations in the United States,” said Kerry Buckley, MITRE, vice president, Center for Integrated Transportation. “It is exciting to see Midland's pursuit to become a national test bed as concepts and vehicles come out of development, and before they are rolled out to the rest of the nation and ultimately the world. This work creates the opportunity to test high-speed aerospace transportation solutions, validating the results of lab scenarios, and testing the procedures necessary to enable the future of high-speed aerospace transportation for American travelers.”

To create an efficient, effective transportation system of the future, complex operations must occur safely and seamlessly. MITRE is working across government and industry to help create an integrated transportation experience from surface to space.