At its monthly meeting, the Commission awarded the grants through its five-year Airport Construction Program (ACP). The ACP is the method used by the Commission to determine where federal and state funds will be invested. These decisions for 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. Although new to this position, I have worked for many years developing the OASP. Economic activity at the 108 airports in the Oklahoma Airport System are responsible for $10.6B of annual economic activity. Our mission is to meet the needs of the users of the system such as business aviation, aeromedical operations, flight training, and recreational flying. The Commission is pleased to provide Oklahoma communities with federal and state financial assistance to develop and maintain their local airports,” said State Director of Aeronautics, Grayson Ardies. “We maintain over 120 miles of runway in Oklahoma, and those runways, of which 45 are jet-capable, will connect people and products to just about anywhere in the world.”
The approved State Grant for the Waynoka Municipal Airport project consists of rehabilitating runway 17-35. Based on bids, the total project cost is $405,352.66 and will be funded with $299,999 of federal grant funds, $68,418 of state grant funds and $36,935.66 of sponsor matching funds.
The Statewide Aviation and Aerospace Economic Impact Study that the Commission published in 2017 showed the Waynoka Municipal Airport has an annual economic activity of $289K.
“Community airports like Waynoka provide important aerial access to our National Air Transportation System and can be vital for aeromedical flights, search and rescue operations, and law enforcement aircraft,” Ardies said. “The Commission continues to focus the majority of federal and state funding on regional business airports, the backbone of our system, but we must also recognize the importance of smaller, more rural airports and the role they play in our air transportation system.”The Waynoka Municipal Airport had a significant role in Oklahoma Aviation history. In 1929, Waynoka became part of coast-to-coast transportation. The founders of Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT), planned a combined air-and-rail service to move passengers across the country from New York to Los Angeles in forty-eight hours. One reason for the town's selection was the presence of a new Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway railroad yard, a $600,000 improvement project that created the largest railroad yard in Oklahoma at that time. That investment brought growth and prosperity to the area, and illustrated very well, the need for airport improvements to support the coast-to-coast effort.
For more information about the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission programs and the Aviation Economic Impact Study results, visit oac.ok.gov/economic-impact.