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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

No, Elon Musk is not planning to build a private airport in Austin

Musk moving base to Texas

The news of a private airport was not a complete surprise considering that Musk has been working over the years to move all his businesses to Texas. According to Business Insider’s report, after plans to set up a Tesla Gigafactory in the state, Musk has not only moved operations of SpaceX to Boca Chica but also removed himself from the state of California, where he was residing earlier and held multiple properties.

In December 2020, Musk’s Boring Company bought a plot of industrial land in Pflugerville, a suburb located to the north of Austin. Earlier this year, another report stated that the Boring Company was planning a tunneling test site in Bastrop, which happens to be just 24 miles (38 km) away from the Giga factory.

Local news site Austonia had reported that the airport could be located near the Bastrop site, and work was reportedly expected to begin soon.

Musk says Texas needs an airstrip

When the news broke out, we reported that building an airport required permissions from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as local clearances. Was it really worth Musk’s time to get into all this extra work, when Austin is already serviced by not one but two airports?

Located just five miles (eight km) from Downtown Austin, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has two runways and three helipads but is only the third busiest airport in the state of Texas. The Austin Executive Airport is located 14 miles (22 km) from Pflugerville. With a Gulfstream G650 private jet at his disposal, Musk can simply land wherever he deems appropriate, rather than go through the hoops to build another airport, all for himself.

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