Ponca City Regional Airport takes flight with an education grant from the Aeronautics Commission

OKLAHOMA CITY – Fifty organizations were awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants totaling over $365,000 at the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission’s (OAC) August meeting. Grants are for targeted learning programs that have a direct application to aerospace and aviation for primary through post-secondary education. The grant funds are part of the agency’s initiative to give more Oklahoma young people access to STEM careers in the aerospace and aviation industry.

The commission approved a $8,400 education grant for Ponca City Regional Airport to provide students the opportunity to attend the Northern Oklahoma Flight Academy. The flight academy is an annual one-week summer aviation and aerospace education camp for middle and high school students and held at the Ponca City airport. The program is in its 18th year and is established on sound math and science (STEM) concepts and hands-on interactive education with aviation and aerospace presented as a career option for students.  

The Aerospace and Aviation Education Grant Program has been awarding aviation education grants for over 30 years. Charged with the mission by state statute, the Commission fosters and encourages students to consider aerospace or aviation as a career. The Commission’s grant program has years of positive results. The initiative supports the Oklahoma Works project that aims to address the skills gap and connect students to programs that will help build the workforce of Oklahoma’s second-largest industry.

“I’m so happy that more of our local students will have the opportunity to experience the Northern Oklahoma Flight Academy through this education grant,” said Sen. Bill Coleman, R-Ponca City. “This is a life-changing opportunity for so many youth and helps them experience the incredible aviation and aerospace industry. This is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in our state, and hopefully attending this academy will encourage them to pursue a career in it.”

The OAC’s nationally recognized program enjoys a positive reputation as one of the most robust aviation education programs among state aviation agencies. For the 2021-22 school year, Oklahoma will rank #3 in the country in the number of schools teaching the AOPA curriculum. Since FY2001, the Commission has awarded $4.15 million in aerospace and aviation education grants.

“Ponca City Regional Airport is making a real difference in the lives of area students.  We know that  these programs are providing students with valuable insight into the potential for a future aviation and aerospace career, and we wish them great success with their program,” said Paula Kedy, MA. Ed., Aerospace and Aviation Education Coordinator for the Commission.

Watch the full meeting at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfvqUmcWmrY&t=15s.