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Port Authority Talks SpaceX Booster Fees

SpaceX booster arrive at Port Canaveral. Photo: SpaceX Instagram.
SpaceX booster arrive at Port Canaveral. Photo: SpaceX Instagram.

Port Canaveral District Board of Commissioners are discussing plans to charge SpaceX a fee to bring spent rocket boosters through the port.

It’s called a Wharfage fee and it applies to any product coming through the port. For example, it’s about a $1.50 per ton to move bananas through the port.

SpaceX lands its first stage booster at sea, and brings it back to Cape Canaveral through Port Canaveral.

There’s no specific wharfage for aerospace parts, so the board is recommending the Authority create one. They’re suggesting $500 per ton, or about $15,000 per booster.

In an e-mailed statement to WMFE, SpaceX says the proposed wharfage fee is 14 times higher than what any other business is being charged for using Port facilities.

SpaceX says Port Canaveral is an important partner in booster recovery, but wants the price to be fair.

The board commissioners meet Wednesday at 9:00 am.

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program. Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration, and the weekly news roundup podcast "The Wrap."