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 Ardmore Municipal Airport for reconstructing Taxiway Alpha and constructing Taxiway E to serve Runway 13, installing LED Medium Intensity Taxiway Lights and LED guidance signs. Based on bids, the total project cost was $4,220,347 and was funded with $3,798,312 federal grant funds, $211,017 state grant funds, and $211,018 sponsor matching funds. The Commission was providing half the sponsor's required federal matching funds.
Airport engineers conducted a pavement study and reported finding the existing asphalt overlay was in poor condition and showed several signs of distress such as reflective cracking, fatigue (alligator) cracking, and block cracking. A majority of taxiway Alpha was reconstructed in FY 2016, however the connection to runway 13/31 remained at a non-standard non 90 degree angle to the runway. The recently approved Phase II of the project and would reconstruct the remaining portion of taxiway Alpha and connect the north end of Alpha to RW 13 at a standard angle.
The aviation and aerospace economic impact study showed the Ardmore Municipal Airport has annual economic activity of $27.1M. 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.
The National Based Aircraft Inventory Program reports the airport has 22 based aircraft and is an essential part of the area’s transportation infrastructure which has helped to attract and keep local employers. Businesses such as Carbonyx (carbon technologies), EJ (foundry), Dollar General (retail), Beetle Plastics (plastic fabrication), King Aerospace, and OnLine Packing, Inc. (manufacturer) are reported to rely on the airport to support their operations and improve their efficiency. Michelin Tire also uses the airport to connect 16 other domestic and three international plants with its operations in Oklahoma. The success of these area employers is important to the viability of the local economy.
Dollar General chose Ardmore for the location of a major distribution center in part because of the airport. The company uses the airport to support its travel needs as well as those of its customers and suppliers who fly to Oklahoma. The distribution center is a mainstay of the 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.
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.