It might seem churlish to argue over a $15,000 fee for landing a barge (and its cargo of a returned rocket’s 1st stage) at Port Canaveral in Florida, especially when launching the rocket costs clients about $61 million a time.
Port Canaveral is proposing a new fee structure for ‘returning rockets’ under a tariff for “aerospace and aircraft items” which would currently only apply to SpaceX.
And SpaceX is saying ‘no’, and that the fee structure is too high.
“We view their cargo passing over our dock just like any other cargo passing our dock,” Port Canaveral CEO John Murray told Florida Today. “We’re not looking at this as an adversarial relationship. It’s no different than anything else coming across the dock. You have to pay for use of port facilities. That’s how a port makes its money.”
SpaceX spokesman John Taylor, in an email to Florida Today, says the fee is 14-times higher than any other business is charged for using the port.