OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission this 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 Muskogee Davis Field. The approval was contingent upon the Commission receiving an acceptable grant application based on bids. The project consisted of constructing a high-strength concrete hardstand within the main aircraft parking apron. The estimated total project cost was $190,000 and would be funded with $180,500 of state grant funds and $9,500 of sponsor matching funds.
The aviation economic study showed the Muskogee Davis Field Regional Airport has annual economic activity of $7.8M. 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.
Muskogee Davis Field is unique in that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a Memorandum of agreement with the airport; the airport is designated by FEMA as an emergency response facility. In the case of a Presidentially-declared disaster, the airport can be used as a federal staging area, responder support camp, search and rescue base, base of operations for evacuations, and to support other FEMA needs.
Activities associated with Oklahoma’s military airfields have a significant annual economic impact, recently estimated at $19.3 billion. The majority of this impact is associated with the bases, but civilian airports in Oklahoma also help to support military flying. By accommodating military aircraft, the airport helps to contribute to the statewide economic benefit that Oklahoma receives from its military airfields. The airport supports a significant number of military operations. The US Army and Air Force; Oklahoma Army National Guard units; Oklahoma Air National Guard; and Civil Air Patrol all use the airport. The Guard also uses the airport for training using temporary tactical air traffic control towers.
Muskogee Davis Regional Airport also plays an important role in training tomorrow’s pilots and aviation professionals. The airport supports Spartan College flight training. The airport is often used by local flight instructors. The airport plays an important role in training future pilots and is vital to the state airport system.
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 Muskogee Davis Field Airport grant in the amount of $190,000 which was passed by the full Commission. Photo credit to OAC staff.)