· Creating an aerospace business roundtable to bring experts together to plan for Spaceport development and future projects;
· Aggressively recruiting and growing new and existing aerospace companies;
· Promoting space tourism initiatives;
· Supporting scholarships and investment in aerospace related educational programs and workforce training opportunities; and,
· Putting "Virginia First" - leading the country in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) educational programs and ensuring our workforce is highly skilled in career and technical skills, which the Spaceport relies upon.
Speaking about his plans to make Wallops Island the top commercial Spaceport in America,McDonnell said, "The Virginia Economic Development Partnership projected Orbital's Taurus II project at Wallops Island alone will generate 125 six-figure paying jobs and 222 indirect jobs with suppliers and contractors. Additionally, this project, which provides cargo re-supply for the space station, will generate another 93 direct jobs and countless indirect jobs. In revenue it will produce more than $7 million in five years, $13 million in ten and $23 million in 20 years. These are immediate and positive benefits to the Commonwealth. They demonstrate the importance of making certain that we fully utilize and support this great resource for Virginia. For that reason I will support a ten-fold increase in base funding for MARS to bring them to $1 million in funding annually. The Spaceport is the kind of innovative opportunity that is crucial to the economic resurgence we need in Virginia. I'm running to be a jobs governor and I will work tirelessly to support the Spaceport and every job creating opportunity we have in Virginia"
MARS is now building $70 million dollars worth of new spaceport infrastructure, which will enable the spaceport to launch medium-heavy to heavy rockets. Funding for the new launch pad, horizontal integration facilities, fueling systems, etc., is coming from the Commonwealth, the federal government and private industry.