Economic Impact

The State of Oklahoma has an extensive system of public airports and a vast array of aviation and aerospace-related activities. Aviation is essential to the state’s transportation network and economic ecosystems. Some benefits, such as the ability to reach hundreds of domestic and international locations on a commercial airline flight, are highly visible. Many benefits of aviation and aerospace, such as aeromedical evacuations, however, are not as well known.

Starting in the fall of 2015, the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC), in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and communities across Oklahoma, undertook steps to start the process to conduct comprehensive research to estimate economic impacts and other benefits associated with aviation and aerospace in Oklahoma. Study research started in the summer of 2016; this study represents the most comprehensive research conducted on the aviation and aerospace industries since similar studies completed in 1994 and 1999. This report provides a summary of OAC’s most current economic impact research.

The magnitude of aviation in the state, the size of the footprint, makes you stop and really ponder that aviation truly lifts up our state. There are seven centers in the world for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft, two are in the U.S., and Oklahoma is one of them. When you consider that Oklahoma has the largest military aircraft repair facility in the world, Tinker AFB, and the largest commercial aircraft repair facility in the world, the American Airlines Maintenance Base in Tulsa, it is not surprising that we are among the world leaders insofar as sustaining aircraft. This study will help us with further recruitment efforts to ensure the continued success of the industry and ensure our precious federal and state resources are strategically and defensibly invested into the Oklahoma Airport System.
Grayson Ardies
Airport Development Manager, Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission
Aviation and aerospace is extensive in Oklahoma. It includes the 108 public airports that comprise the state system, the tenants on those airports such as American Airlines and the FAA Monroney Aeronautical Center; the three Air Force bases; and off-airport aerospace businesses like Boeing, NORDAM and FlightSafety. Many of us knew aviation was big in Oklahoma, now we know just how big it is. This study will provide the foundation for system planning and future investment in our airport system for decades to come.
Grayson Ardies
State Director of Aeronautics, Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission