Friday, April 27, 2007

Aerospace Update

Eclipse Receives FAA Production Certification
From Kevin Avila-Robinson at the New Mexico Business Weekly:

Eclipse Aviation Corp. received its production certificate today from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The company had already received "type certification" for its Eclipse 500 jet last September, but until receiving the production certification, the FAA had to examine each individual aircraft before it could be delivered to customers. That greatly impeded the delivery of its jets since last year, with only seven planes handed over to customers since December.

With the production certificate in hand, Eclipse itself can now issue standard airworthiness certificates for planes as they roll off the production line, allowing the company to ramp up deliveries, says Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom.

"This is a major milestone that we've been working hard to achieve," Broom says. "We're now a production company. We have a new plane going out the door today, and three more in the pre-delivery phase. We're stepping up production and delivery as we speak."

Meanwhile, there are a trio of updates related to Spaceport America and Economic development:

Secretary of Economic Development Rick Homans was named Executive Director of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority
Deputy Secretary of Economic Development, Kelly O'Donnell was named Acting Secretary
and Architectural Firms have been invited to bid on Spaceport America Terminal and Hangar

A lot of positive movement in the past few days!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Spaceport a Go!

From the NM Economic Development Department:

Spaceport America Ready for Blast Off
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Spaceport Referendum Passes in Dona Ana County

LAS CRUCES – Final design and engineering for Spaceport America will move into "high gear" as a result of passage of the Spaceport Tax in Dona Ana County, according to Rick Homans, chairman of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority and the state's cabinet secretary for economic development.

"This positive vote ignites the final design, engineering and construction of Spaceport America," said Homans. "We can now say that Spaceport America is ready for blast off – all systems are go. New Mexico is prepared to launch a whole new era of discovery, exploration and commercial activity in space, on the Moon and beyond. We have nothing but beautiful black sky ahead of us."

The tax is expected to generate approximately $6.5 million a year for 20-years. Up to 25-percent, $1.6 million, of the revenue will be used to fund math and science programs in the county school system. The other 75 percent, $4.9 million, will be used as a revenue stream to bond approximately $50 million towards the construction of Spaceport America.

Homans said the next two critical milestones for Spaceport America will be the Record of Decision (ROD) on the Environmental Impact Statement, and then receipt of the site operator's license from the Federal Aviation Administration, expected in the first quarter of 2008.

Homans said he expects the spaceport to be operational by late 2009 or early 2010.
"Winning this election was one of the biggest hurdles we faced when we proposed this project in December 2005," said Homans. "All of us involved with Spaceport America extend a major thank you to the voters of Dona Ana County for the confidence they have expressed in this project and our ability to make it happen."

Homans also expressed gratitude to People for Aerospace, and its co-chairs John Hummer, County Commissioner Bill McCamley, and Ambassador Delano Lewis, for their efforts to pass the tax and to support Spaceport America.

Homans cited a number of challenges that have been overcome since the announcement of Spaceport America in December 2005:

- received state funding of $125 million;

- reached agreement with ranchers to co-exist;

- signed lease agreement with State Land Office;

- negotiated Memorandum of Agreement with White Sands Missile Range;

- negotiated Memorandum of Agreement with Virgin Galactic for 20-year lease;

- approved official cost estimate for spaceport below $225 million;

- formed relationship with National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Trail Association to collaborate on ways to preserve and protect El Camino Real and to maximize education and marketing opportunities.

About Spaceport America
Spaceport America is a landmark project that will be built in Sierra County, 45 miles northeast of Las Cruces. According to economic forecasts by NMSU and Futron, Spaceport America may spur up to 5,000 new jobs and up to $1 billion in new revenue in the state. Spaceport America is scheduled to open for business in late 2009 or early 2010.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Record Submissions Compete for ADDY Awards

Marketing & Design are key (I think) aspects to building a robust media industry in New Mexico -- and we're glad to see both an influx of companies in this space, and new, locally grown firms springing up. The ADDYs are a good barometer of activity here -- so it's great to see more creative work vying for attention.

From the NM Business Weekly (4/3/2007):

The New Mexico Advertising Federation recognized the best among the state's ad agencies recently with its annual ADDY Awards.

This year's ADDYs saw the highest number of submissions to date. Thirty-five firms as well as advertising students submitted 447 entries. A total of 51 Gold ADDYs were awarded in categories including print, television, radio, outdoor and Web and 84 Silver ADDYs were also awarded.

McKee Wallwork Cleveland picked up the most awards with 40, followed by 3 Advertising with 29 and Rick Johnson & Co. with 21. McKee won the Best of Show award for its invitation for the National Atomic Museum.

Two awards went to agencies under the Advertising Works category, which is based largely on measurable results. Rick Johnson & Co. won for its Roswell Mysteries campaign and Rome & Gold Creative accepted the award for its Fido Innovasic campaign.

Judge's Choice awards went to Esparza Advertising for Juan's Broken Taco direct mail piece and the Southwest Eyecare radio spot "Cheese Mess Carol," and to McKee Wallwork for its Blake's Lotaburger bag stuffers and the Taos Ski Valley print campaign.

Rick Johnson & Co. snagged a Judge's Award for the Roswell Mysteries poster campaign and the Duke City Shootout television spot.

Sally Adams, president of Clear Channel Outdoor, was given a Silver Medal Award in recognition of her more than 20 years of experience in, and commitment to, the field of advertising. And 770 KKOB-AM won the President's Award for its long-standing presence in the industry.

Ad professionals from outside markets judge the New Mexico ADDYs. This year's judges came from Atlanta, Boulder, Dallas, Salt Lake City and Durham, N.C.

Santa Fe Ranked as Second Best Place for Artists

From the NM Business Weekly 4/3/2007:

Santa Fe has been ranked as No. 2 in the country for being among the best places for artists and other creative types to live.

The list, compiled by Sperling's Best Places and, identifies metro areas with the highest concentrations of artistic business establishments, the percentage of people between the ages of 25 and 34, population diversity and a high concentration of museums, orchestras, dance companies, theater troupes, library resources and college arts programs.

The top spot was taken by Los Angeles. Carson City, Nev., snagged the No. 3 spot, followed by: New York City and Kingston, N.Y.; Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.; Nashville, Tenn.; Boulder, Colo.; San Francisco; and Nassau-Suffolk Counties in New York.

According to an economic impact study by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of New Mexico, Santa Fe's creative industries generate $1.1 billion annually and support 17.5 percent of the city's employment base. They pay $231.5 million in wage and salaries and about 78 percent of revenues in the creative industries ($814 million) come from outside Santa Fe County. They produce $22.6 million in city taxes and revenues and $13.4 million in county taxes and revenues.

All of this demonstrates that the City Different is a hub that offers social support and financial opportunities for people working in these fields, says Jackie M., chairman of Creative Santa Fe, a nonprofit that works to strengthen arts institutions and creative businesses in the city.

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss says the city's economic development strategy recognizes the importance of creative people and businesses to the city's growth.

"We want to continue to provide more affordable housing, business training, financial assistance and workforce training for people in creative industries," he said in a prepared statement.

He also noted that investments such as the new civic center, the railyard development and the Bataan Memorial arts complex will allow the expansion of several entities such as the Santa Fe Children's Museum and the Bataan Memorial Museum.

"This explosion of investment in Santa Fe's creative industries will improve the environment for artists and allow more creative business opportunities for our community," he added.

Monday, April 2, 2007

NM Coverage in the LA Times

Has been really good lately. The most recent article seems to get most of the points we've been pushing for over the past few years.

I'm excerpting liberally below, but you really should check out the whole article:

New Mexico film industry hopes to steal the show
LA Times, 2 April, 2007
by Richard Verrier

"This facility is second to none in the U.S.," said Chief Operating Officer Nick Smerigan, speaking over drilling done by a worker installing a vent. "Eventually, we'll be a first call for people who are leaving L.A."

Thanks to generous financial sweeteners, a fairly mild climate and an aggressive state film office, New Mexico can back up that kind of swagger...

Star Waggons, which leases the trailers that are a signature of film shoots around L.A., is opening an office in Albuquerque. So are equipment supplier Clairmont Camera and payroll servicer Axium International.

In nearby Rio Rancho, Lions Gate Entertainment is gearing up to build a $15-million production center on 20 acres provided by the city, and with the help of a pending $10-million loan from the state...

Since 2004, production has jumped nearly tenfold, generating a financial effect of $428 million last fiscal year, according to the New Mexico Film Office.

"We had a very simple strategy," Gov. Bill Richardson said. "Get ahead of every other state in terms of incentives, throw the kitchen sink at accommodating film companies — tax rebates, loans from the state, free state land, write-offs…. It's created hundreds of jobs."

...New Mexico's film and TV business remains a small fraction of California's, which has an annual estimated value of more than $30 billion statewide...

"When a well-established company like Sony considers relocating or expanding into another area, that's very concerning," said California Film Commission Director Amy Lemisch. "It's a brick-and-mortar kind of business. The absence of financial incentives in California makes it easier for New Mexico and all other regions."

The state also offers an interest-free loan of as much as $15 million a project for productions that are shot primarily in New Mexico, and has launched or funded various training programs to cultivate local filmmakers and expand its crew base.

The program has more than paid its way.

Since 2003, the state has reaped $50 million in tax revenue from the film industry; it has paid out $33 million to finance the rebates and interest-free loans, state officials say. New Mexico ranks among the top five states in filming activity.

"You can't underestimate the power of the incentives," said producer Glenn Williamson, taking a break from shooting the dark comedy "Sunshine Cleaning" in Albuquerque's Nob Hill area. "What you're trying to do is put as much money as possible on the screen."

...Said Mark Manuel, Lions Gate executive vice president: "It's one of the few states that's actually trying to build an industry and not just bring in projects on a one-time basis."