Aeronautics Commission approves $976,000 grant to Elk City Regional Airport

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – 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 Elk City Regional Airport to install LED runway lights, Precision Approach Path Indicators, an Automated Weather Observing System and to conduct a flight inspection. Based on bids, the total project cost was $976,048 and was funded with $487,500 of federal grant funds, $54,167 of American Rescue Plan Act funds, $404,954 of state grant funds and $29,427 of sponsor matching funds.  

The lights reached the end of their useful life and fail regularly. Installing new LED runway lights in a can and conduit system ensures the airport has 24/7 functionality and increases situational awareness for pilots during inclement weather. It was cost-effective to rehabilitate the path indicators and weather system while the electrical contractor was on site.

District 55 Representative Todd Russ of Cordell said, “Airports draw employers to a community and general aviation is an effective business tool. Several businesses are using our airport, and we appreciate the Aeronautics Commission for their continued commitment to making improvements to the airport.”

The aviation and aerospace economic impact study showed the Elk City Regional Airport has an annual economic activity of $5.6 million. Crop and livestock production are staples for Oklahoma’s economy with over 34 million acres in the state dedicated to agriculture.

District 26 Senator Darcy Jech said, “Aerial applicators are using this airport to treat crops and ranch lands by area farmers and ranchers, providing an important service to western Oklahoma. The Elk City community appreciates the continued investment in airport infrastructure in our city.”   

The construction program 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.