Mark Bontrager joined Space Florida in 2008 and currently serves as the Vice President for Spaceport Operations. In this role, Mark leads the planning and development of space transportation infrastructure improvement projects of Space Florida’s spaceport holdings and the Florida Spaceport System Plan.
Mark is responsible for the development and operations of Space Florida’s Spaceport assets including multiple launch complexes, launch vehicle processing facilities, storage facilities, and payload processing facilities.
Bontrager has more than 21 years of experience with the United States Air Force and most recently served as a Colonel and Commander of the 45th Mission Support Group at Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which provides critical support to military space launch operations as well as commercial, civil, and defense missions. Colonel Bontrager also served as chief of the Assured Access Operations Division at Air Force Space Command at Peterson AFB, Colorado and previously served in the 1st Space Launch Squadron with the Delta II launch vehicle program.
Mark’s keen understanding of Air Force processes and space launch/payload processing operations brings a critical skill set to Space Florida. Mark also works closely with Business Development and the Florida Department of Transportation to capture opportunities to improve and modernize Florida's existing spaceport assets and strengthen relationships with federal partners and aerospace stakeholders, who see Florida as the place for space.
Mark Bontrager holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Florida, a Master’s of Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a Masters in National Security Studies from the Naval War College, and a Masters in Airpower Art and Science from the School of Advanced Airpower Studies at Maxwell AFB in Alabama.