“I for one appreciate the level of effort you all have gone through to reduce expenses during this interim period,” said Pat Gamble, chairman of the aerospace board and president of the University of Alaska.
With no launches scheduled at the Kodiak Launch Complex until 2014, Alaska Aerospace laid off five Kodiak employees and made other cuts that saved about $5.2 million. “I look at the reduction in expenses as significant,” Gamble said.
Those cuts mirrored but did not keep pace with revenue, which fell by more than half to $6.862 million. “There wasn’t a whole lot of revenue from operations,” said auditor Eric Campbell, who presented his report to the board on Thursday in Anchorage.
Most of the corporation’s $13.7 million in expenses is required upkeep on the Kodiak Launch Complex and cannot be avoided.
The Alaska Legislature subsidized Alaska Aerospace this year, and another subsidy will be needed in 2013, said CEO Craig Campbell, who had the “interim” removed from his title in the meeting’s other big moment.
“Until we get scheduled launches, we’re going to continue running deficits,” Campbell said. “We have to get to the time when we’re launching the rockets.”
To help Alaska Aerospace get to that point, Campbell announced the hiring of a new chief operating officer and a chief administrative officer.
The new hires complete AAC’s staff turnover, which began when the company’s last CEO, Dale Nash, left Alaska to head Virginia’s space program. Campbell, who was the company’s operating officer, was promoted to interim CEO in his place.
Thursday’s meeting did not go into detail about Alaska Aerospace’s planned expansion of the Kodiak Launch Complex to support medium-lift rockets.
The complex has only launched small-lift rockets to date, and a partnership with Lockheed-Martin to add an additional launchpad was announced this year.
Additional information on the progress of that partnership is expected at the board’s next meeting, Oct. 4 at the Kodiak Launch Complex.