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 Commission approved grant funds for a project that was identified in the Commission’s CIP at West Woodward Airport. The project consisted of rehabilitating runway 17/35 and concrete portions of the parallel taxiway system. Based on bids, the total project cost was $781,400 and would be funded with $742,330 state grant funds and $39,070 of sponsor matching funds. This is the final phase of over a $3M effort to rehabilitate all the airport’s airside pavements.
The aviation economic study showed the West Woodward Airport has annual economic activity of $3.6M. 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.
Many smaller hospitals are not able to have specialty doctors on staff. Oklahoma Heart Hospital is affiliated with many towns throughout the state. One doctor from the Oklahoma Heart Hospital flies from Oklahoma City to see patients in the Woodward area. The airport allows this doctor to fly to patients who would not have otherwise had the ability to receive their care locally.
Aerial firefighting is an effective tool for controlling wildfires and for keeping fires from spreading. During wildfire season, firefighting aircraft refuel often at the airports. The airport plays an important role in protecting property and in keeping wildfires from spreading to residential areas.
UPS operates a contracted Cessna 208 cargo aircraft from West Woodward Airport to Oklahoma City-Will Rogers World Airport. This aircraft “feeds” parcels and packages to and from a UPS jet, which is routed to the carrier’s hub in Louisville, Kentucky. This service connects the local economy with UPS’s global air cargo network.
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 the West Woodward Regional Airport grant in the amount of $781,400 which was passed by the full Commission. Photo credit to OAC staff.)