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Summary: HB 2623 would allow County Commissioner courts and the General Land Office to temporarily close public beaches prior to "space flight activities." The Federal Aviation Administration determines the specifics, but typically they require a clear radius of 1.5 miles around launch sites. Beaches will not be subject to closures during the Memorial Day, Labor Day or July 4th holidays or on weekends during the summer. They will only be subject to closure for a limited timeframe before and during a launch.
Analysis: Texas has worked to attract businesses in the developing commercial space flight industry. In order for such a business to successfully launch, they must be able to comply with FAA regulations. One such regulation requires the area within a specific radius of the launch site to be cleared during a launch for health and safety purposes. This legislation will enable compliance with the FAA regulation so that launches can take place from spaceports in Texas. We recommend legislators support HB 2623.