JUNEAU — The president and CEO of the Alaska Aerospace Corp. said Monday that the board of the state-owned corporation has recommended it pursue becoming a private company.
Craig Campbell said the recommendation has been delivered to Gov. Bill Walker, who has not yet said how he would like to proceed. State law would have to be changed to allow for the shift, Campbell said.
“Our intention and what we’re working on right now is to develop the corporation so we would not ever go back to the state for any operations funding,” he said.
Campbell said he considers it an expectation that once the corporation becomes profitable the state be repaid for investments it made in the corporation. Over the last six years or so, the state has put about $30 million toward operations and sustainment funding, he said. It has put in additional funds for infrastructure, he said.
Campbell said the corporation will be profitable by year’s end. Terms and a timeline for repaying the state have not been determined.
The state created the corporation in 1991 to develop an aerospace sector for Alaska’s economy. But Campbell, who joined the corporation as president and chief operating officer in 2011, said a problem for the corporation had been focusing primarily on launching rockets for the government. “That still will be in the portfolio, but it won’t be our only market,” he said.
The corporation has moved toward diversifying. It has, for example, a contract with a company for distribution of Alaska geospatial imaging data from orbiting satellites.
The corporation announced Monday that it’s opening an office in Huntsville, Alabama, a hub for aerospace companies. Campbell said the corporation has supported missions for the Missile Defense Agency and Space and Missile Defense Command, which have a presence in Huntsville, and with an office there, the corporation can be more responsive to their needs. There are also other companies there the corporation would like to work with, he said.