Aeronautics Commission Begins Year with Two New Commissioners; Agency Highlights Expected Projects for 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY – At its meeting on Wednesday, January 13, the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission welcomed two new Commissioners appointed by Governor Kevin Stitt. District 3 Commissioner Charles Ortega from Altus, and District 5 Commissioner Blake Raney from Edmond, attended their first meeting. Chairing the Commission through 2021 is At-Large Commissioner Jim Putnam from Edmond. The Commission also was briefed on upcoming airport projects that will likely be granted for calendar year 2021.

In the previously approved statewide Airport Construction Program (ACP) for fiscal years 2021 through 2025, construction activities are projected for the next five years at over 50 different Oklahoma public airports. Under the program, $136 million in improvements are planned at airports across the state to do projects such as extending runways, replacing lighting systems, constructing new terminal buildings and rehabilitating pavement.

These 2021 programs will be funded through three sources: federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), state funding from the Aeronautics Commission and local funding from airport sponsors.   

Major projects are planned at several airports, including Ardmore Downtown Executive, Boise City Municipal, Clarence E. Page Municipal in Yukon, El Reno Regional, Guymon Municipal, Jones Memorial at Bristow, Kingfisher Municipal, McCurtain County Regional, Seminole Municipal, Thomas P. Stafford at Weatherford, Watonga Regional, Wiley Post in Oklahoma City and several others.

The largest recipient is Ardmore Downtown Executive Airport. It will receive $2.8 million in federal, state and local matching funds that will be used to rehabilitate and reconstruct the parallel taxiway system and install taxiway lights and signs. Businesses that use Ardmore Downtown Executive Airport were identified as Michelin North America, Dollar General, Dot Foods, Valero Ardmore Refinery and IMTECH.

Guymon Municipal Airport has a $6.1 million annual economic impact and 31 based aircraft. It will receive $2.3 million to continue the rehabilitation of the runway pavement. Another big recipient in the ACP is Wiley Post Airport in Northwest Oklahoma City. They are slated for $1.5 million in federal, state and local matching funds to rehabilitate runway 13/31 pavement and lighting. With 300+ based aircraft and almost 100 jets, Wiley Post is one of the primary hubs for business aircraft used in Oklahoma. It is also a Reliever Airport in the Oklahoma and Federal Systems.

Although a large part of airport funding goes to the busier airports in Oklahoma’s two metro areas, Municipal and Regional Airports in smaller communities across the state will benefit in calendar year 2021.

Major projects scheduled to receive funding through the ACP outside of the metro areas include a $1.6 million to rehabilitate the runway pavement and install LED runway lights at Boise City Municipal Airport, $1.5 million to reconstruct portions of the apron area at Clarence E. Page Municipal Airport, $1.3 million to construct and rehabilitate the apron pavement and terminal building at Jones Memorial Airport at Bristow, $400 thousand to rehabilitate the taxilane and apron area at the Kingfisher Municipal Airport, $350 thousand to rehabilitate the taxilane and apron area at the McCurtain County Regional Airport, $500 thousand for Phase II of the parallel taxiway realignment at the Seminole Municipal Airport, and $2.1 million to reconstruct runway 17/35 and the connecting taxiway and install LED runway lights at Watonga Regional Airport.

In 2021, two new airport terminals are also slated for construction including $1.3 million to construct a new terminal building at Thomas P. Stafford Airport in Weatherford, and $1.3 million for a new terminal at El Reno Regional Airport.

“Though 2020 has been difficult for the aviation and aerospace industry, air transportation needs in the state must continue to move forward. We look forward to these important projects being granted this year,” said State Director of Aeronautics Grayson Ardies.

To see the entire list of projects included in the FY2021-2025 ACP, please visit the Commission’s website at http://oac.ok.gov