OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Recently, 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 (ACP).
“We know from our recently completed Aviation & Aerospace Economic Impact Study that the 108 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 grant was made to Atoka Municipal Airport to install new LED Medium Intensity Runway Lights and Precision Approach Path Indicator Lights (PAPls) and a flight inspection on the PAPls. Based on bids, the total project cost was $243,044 and was funded with $230,891 state grant funds and $12,153 sponsor matching funds.
The existing asphalt pavement was showing signs of seasonal environmental distresses (raveling and longitudinal/transverse cracking). The pavement needed basic maintenance in order to preserve the condition and prevent further deterioration and the need for a more expensive rehabilitation. In addition to the pavement rehabilitation, the final phase of the runway widening (installing LED runway lights) would take place. While the electrical contractor is on site it was prudent to install PAPIs to provide additional situational awareness for pilots that utilize the airport.
The aviation and aerospace economic impact study showed the Atoka Municipal Airport has annual economic activity of $564K. The municipal business airports are the backbone of our state’s air transportation system and are located at the 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.
Fixed-wing aircraft are used in Oklahoma to support various emergency medical needs. Most often, aircraft are used to transport patients, who have serious or life-threatening medical conditions, from smaller hospitals to larger medical facilities, either within or beyond the state. The airport sometimes helps to support these types of important activities. A dollar value cannot be placed on the benefit of an airport helping save a life, by transporting a patient in need of advanced medical care.
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 (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.