visited Bartlesville for several meetings and events last Friday. From the
Commission, director Victor Bird, deputy director Grayson Ardies, and public
and government liaison Sandra Shelton visited the community to discuss aviation
and aerospace with various business leaders and interested citizens.
Invited as a guest of State Representative Earl Sears (Ret.), the day began at a breakfast
held at the Vera Grocery and Deli as Bird addressed a crowd of about 25. He spoke about
the overall impact of aviation and aerospace not only to the state, but also to the City
of Bartlesville. “Recently we learned from a comprehensive economic impact study
of aviation and aerospace activity, that aviation and aerospace has become the second
largest industry in the state providing over 206,000 jobs,” director of aeronautics Vic
During the midmorning hours at the Arvest Bank Friday Forum, Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell made opening remarks about his vision to enhance the state’s economy while Bird concluded the meeting with his presentation regarding the history of aviation and aerospace across the state. Bird cited the importance of Frank Phillips in the state’s aviation history through his support of Wiley Post.
That afternoon, Aeronautics Commissioner Kevin Potter hosted a meeting with the Bartlesville Municipal Airport, Commission staff, and city officials to discuss the future needs of the airport. The airport has an annual economic impact of $15M and has an annual spending of $9.7M.
“When businesses decide to relocate or expand, there are many factors they consider. Frequently, having access to a general aviation airport is a highly-rated decision-making factor. A mile of road can take you one mile, and mile of runway can take you pretty much anywhere,” said deputy director Grayson Ardies, who manages the airport division for the Commission. “Bartlesville Airport is important to this area and the support from the city and Washington County citizens is critical to the airports success.”
“We were so honored to be invited to come and spend the day in this community. Some might say that Bartlesville is the birth place of commercial aviation due to flights being made to oil well sights by plane, and I’d say that is a pretty good legacy to claim. It is a beautiful town and they should be proud of their citizenry and accomplishments,” said Bird.