OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission last week awarded state grants to several Oklahoma communities for various airport infrastructure projects. The Commission awarded the grants through its Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
“We know through this year’s Aviation & Aerospace Economic Impact Study that 109 airports in the Oklahoma Airport System are responsible for $10.6B of annual economic activity. It is important to maintain and continually improve our state airport system to meet the needs of users of the system such as business, aeromedical, and personal. The Commission is pleased to provide Oklahoma communities with federal and state financial assistance to develop and maintain their local airports,” said director of aeronautics Victor Bird. “These airports are gateways to the world for communities across our state.”
The city of Claremore will receive $2.1M in grant funds for reconstructing runway 17/35 and crack repair on the connecting taxiways. The total project cost was $2,376,130 and would be funded with $2,137,160 federal grant funds $118,731 state grant funds, and $120,232 sponsor matching funds. The Commission provided half the sponsor’s required federal matching funds.
The aviation economic study showed the Claremore Regional Airport has annual economic activity of $8.5M. The regional business airports are the backbone of our state’s air transportation system and are located at the economic centers in the state. The Commission continues to focus the majority of the federal and state funds to regional business airports and projects that make significant improvements to the system.
There are several agencies that rely on the airport to support their needs. These agencies include the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP), Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, and the Grand River Dam Authority. All three agencies use the airport for routine surveillance flights. In addition, these agencies also use the airport to support their emergency operations.
Businesses such as Baker Hughes (oil); Fox-I (drafting/design); and AXH (fans), utilize the airport on a regular basis to visit local companies. Vendors also fly to the community to provide technical support at facilities operated by these companies.
The airport also supports the seasonal activities of several transient aerial application companies such as AgWerx Aviation and Midland Flyers. These companies provide services to area farmers and ranchers.
The CIP is the method used by the Commission to determine where federal and state funds will be invested. These decisions regarding airport development are consistent with achieving the goals laid out in the Oklahoma Airport System Plan (OASP). Airports included in the OASP are functionally classified as regional business, district or community. For more information about the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission programs and the 2017 Aviation Economic Impact Study results, visit oac.ok.gov.
(CUTLINE: At the December 6, 2017 Aeronautics Commission meeting, Dale Williams, deputy director of airports for the agency presented the agenda item regarding a Claremore Airport grant in the amount of $2.2M which was passed by the full Commission. Photo credit to OAC staff.)