At its meeting on Wednesday, March 10, the Commission heard details about the latest version of the Airport Construction Program for Fiscal Years 2022-2026. This $156 million Five-Year Plan programs federal, state and local funding for various airport infrastructure projects across the state. It will now go into a public comment phase and is expected to be presented for approval in the May Commission meeting.
Projects in the plan include:
- $1.3 million to construct a new terminal building at the Thomas P Stafford Airport in Weatherford, and $2.5 million for a new terminal at Ponca City Regional Airport in FY 2022.
- $973,000 to improve drainage at the Shawnee Regional Airport, and the construction of a new Contract Air Traffic Control Tower at Max Westheimer in Norman in FY 2023.
- $12.5 million to construct a new terminal building at Stillwater Regional Airport in FY 2024.
- A nearly $6 million project scheduled for FY 2025 to realign the parallel taxiway system at the Guthrie/Edmond Regional Airport.
- A $4 million project at the Miami Regional Airport in FY 2026 to realign the parallel taxiway system.
Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission Director Grayson Ardies provided updates on several legislative measures affecting the aerospace/aviation industry. This includes Senate Bill 893, which will amend the Engineer Tax Credits for Aerospace so engineers with graduate degrees have no issue qualifying for the credits, and SB 659 which establishes the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) as the lead agency for coordinating the State’s Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) initiatives.
The Commission approved two change orders to state grants. The Carlton Landing Field (Eufaula) project consists of rehabilitating the runway, taxiway, and apron pavements, installing runway lights, PAPIs, and a beacon and removing obstructions. The change order allows for gravel to be placed around the PAPIs and for the placement of sod and regrading around the electrical vault. The second change order allows funds leftover from the installation of the taxiway lights to be used for additional crack sealing of the apron at Sky Harbor Airport (Chattanooga).
Commissioners serve as a voting body representing their respective districts, airports, and users of the Oklahoma Airport System, and the Commission plays an integral role in the accountability of the agency. The Commission is responsible for approving the Airport Construction Program at the agency’s bi-monthly meetings and reviewing airport projects within the 108 airports that comprise the Oklahoma Airport System.
The Commission was also briefed on the work being done to promote the implementation of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) “You Can Fly” High School Aviation Curriculum throughout Oklahoma.