At its meeting on Wednesday, July 14, the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission awarded state grants to several Oklahoma communities for various airport infrastructure projects. The commission awarded the grants through its five-year Airport Construction Program.
“The Oklahoma Airport System is responsible for $10.6 billion of annual economic activity. It is important to continually advance our state airport system to meet the needs of business and general aviation. Our core mission is to provide Oklahoma communities with state financial assistance and to guide federal funds to develop and maintain municipal airports,” said State Director of Aeronautics Grayson Ardies. “A gateway to the world for communities across our state, these airports are critical to furthering economic development.”
The grant was made to Ardmore Municipal Airport to rehabilitate runway 13/31 and install new LED runway lights. Based on bids, the total project cost was $1,821,305 and was funded with $942,277 of federal grant funds, $104,699 of American Rescue Plan Act funds, $735,612 of state grant funds and $38,717 of sponsor matching funds.
The existing runway pavement at the airport had been exhibiting distresses such as joint damage and minor to moderate joint and corner spalling. Rehabilitation includes a joint seal and spall repair. The lights have reached the end of its useful life and fail regularly. Installing new LED runway lights via a can and conduit system will ensure the airport has 24/7 functionality and increase situational awareness for pilots during inclement weather.
District 14 Senator Frank Simpson of Springer said, “Dollar General chose Ardmore in part because of the airport. They use the airport to support customers and suppliers who fly to Oklahoma. The distribution center is a mainstay to our local economy, supporting an estimated 600 jobs. Without the excellent facilities provided by the airport, Dollar General may have opted to develop in another location. We appreciate Aeronautics for their support of Ardmore airports.”
The aviation and aerospace economic impact study showed the Ardmore Municipal Airport has an annual economic activity of $27.1 million. The municipal business airports are the backbone of our state’s air transportation system and are located at economic centers across the state. The commission continues to focus the majority of federal and state funding on regional business airports and projects that make significant improvements to the system.
District 48 Representative Tammy Townley of said, “Ardmore Municipal is critical to businesses on the airport such as King Aerospace. Since they provide aircraft maintenance support, appropriate lighting and an optimal runway will facilitate the continuation of their mission. This project is part of the Aeronautics Commission’s core commitment to maintain the state airport system, and we appreciate their continued work to ensure our airport infrastructure serves all Oklahomans.”
The ACP 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. Airports included in the plan are functionally classified as regional business, district, or community.