STATEWIDE –Tinker and the Primes, an aerospace, defense and government contracting conference wrapped this week just as Governor Mary Fallin made the announcement of another aerospace company moving to Oklahoma. Aerospace is soaring in the state and via new legislation, citizens are asked to devote some portion of the states first-ever Oklahoma Aviation and Aerospace Day, which will occur this Sunday, to honor the achievements of Oklahomans in aviation and aerospace.
During the 2017 legislative session, Senator Chris Kidd of Waurika and former Representative Scott Biggs of Marlow, passed Senate Bill 47 creating an Oklahoma Aviation & Aerospace Day on August 19. The day runs concurrent to National Aviation & Aerospace Day which commemorates the birthdate of Orville Wright who, with his brother Wilbur, made substantial contributions to powered flight. The act became effective November of last year, making this August the first year the day will occur on the calendar.
Oklahoma schools will be convening just in time for the new statewide day and Aeronautics Commission spokesperson, Sandra Shelton, said “We encourage educators in K-12 classrooms to create activities that emphasize aviation.” Shelton continued, “A discussion about aviation history including the inspiring Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart and other aviation pioneers would be ideal.”
Oklahomans are encouraged to visit museums about aviation history and technology such as the Tulsa Air and Space Museum in Tulsa, the Stafford Air & Space Museum in Weatherford, or the 99’s Museum of Women Pilots in Oklahoma City.
Aviation has been with the Sooner state since statehood and is well served by the state’s 105 general aviation airports and 4 commercial airports. Of those airports, 45 are jet-capable, meaning they have at least a 5,000 foot runway. Aviation & Aerospace is the second largest industry in the state producing almost $44 billion in annual economic activity. Altogether, these segments support 206,000 jobs and an $11.7 billion payroll. The average salary in aviation and aerospace is just over $73,000.
With the average salary in aviation and aerospace just over $73,000, Aerospace is one of the fastest growing sectors of the state’s economy, growing by 250% in the last 20 years.
Oklahoma Aviation & Aerospace Day is a unique way to ensure furtherance of Oklahoma’s rich aviation history.