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Important Dates and Information

Virtual Platform Launch

Note: only registered attendees can access the virtual platform and virtual booth. 

September 28, 2020

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October 1, 2020

1:00pm EST

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October 7-8, 2020

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Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission  

Oklahoma City,  OK 
United States
  • Booth: Virtual Booth

Aerospace and Aviation is Oklahoma's 2nd largest industry!

The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission serves as the lead government agency for providing support, funding, advocacy, and promotion of Oklahoma’s public airport system and to foster the growth of the aerospace industry. The mission of the Commission is to promote aviation and aerospace, which includes ensuring the needs of commerce and communities across the state are met by the state’s 108 public airports that comprise the Oklahoma Airport System, ensuring the viability of the state’s second largest industry, aerospace and aviation, which has an annual impact of $44 billion. Integrating Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) into the airspace and supporting aerospace companies is a primary focus for the Commission. Oklahoma IS aerospace and aviation!

 Press Releases

  • Forty-five years ago last month, millions of people around the world watched on television as the U.S. Apollo and U.S.S.R. Soyuz spacecraft docked to mark the first historic international space mission and what is generally considered the end of the Space Race. The Apollo module was commanded by Oklahoma favorite son, General Thomas P. Stafford. Stafford also commanded Apollo 10 that mapped the landing site for Apollo 11 that landed the first man on the Moon and was that giant leap for mankind. Stafford has helped to establish Oklahoma as a national leader in the aerospace and aviation industry.  “The United States is still the only nation to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth, and we did it several times. That remarkable achievement, the success of our Space Program, and our robust aerospace industry would not be possible without the scientists, engineers, technicians, and other workers that built and maintained the spacecraft and aircraft, and administered the systems necessary for their operation. An adequate and competent workforce is the key, and aviation education programs like that of the Aeronautics Commission are critical to helping ensure that we have that workforce,” said Stafford.

    This spring and summer have marked some of the most challenging times the aviation and aerospace industry has ever experienced.  The industry has been knocked down and behind the power-curve before: pre-WWII aircraft technology and readiness, the early days of the space race with the Soviet Union, 9/11 and the effects on commercial aviation, and the 2008 Great Recession. In all those downtrodden moments for the industry, however, there are two great things that standout, first, aviation and aerospace has always turned things around and come out on top for the better, and second, a high-quality, well educated workforce was the main source behind that turnaround. 

    This workforce, and the need to attract new talent is the reason why the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) believes this is the perfect time to invest in our future and inspire today’s youth to become pilots, engineers, mechanics, astronauts, and scientists.  The Commission is determined to focus on vectoring young minds towards the exploration of aviation and aerospace through their nationally recognized and award winning education grant program. 

    This year, thirty-eight different entities were awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants totaling over $335,400 from the Commission. The record amount of funding will be used to bring more students in Oklahoma to STEM careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation.  The funding was approved by the Commission at its most recent meeting.

    Grants are awarded 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.

    Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz said, “Transportation is the backbone of our national and state economies, moving people, goods, and services across our country and state. Aviation plays an indispensable role in our transportation system. I appreciate OAC’s nationally-recognized programs that promotes aviation careers.”

    Oklahoma’s Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Sean Kouplen supports OAC’s record investment in its aviation education program and believes it comes at a critical time to ensure a workforce to help the aerospace industry come back from the impact of COVID-19.

     “Aerospace and aviation is our state’s second largest industry yielding an annual economic impact of $44 billion. We need to continue to make these record investments in our workforce in order for Oklahoma to continue to provide top aerospace jobs in the country,” Kouplen said.

    “Aviation and Aerospace is a huge economic engine in our state providing 206,000 direct and indirect jobs. For commerce and communities a safe, reliable, and accessible aviation system is critical. The Commission is pleased that its aviation and aerospace education program encourages young and adult Oklahomans to consider aviation and aerospace as a career. Funding requests totaled over $682,000 this year, which exemplifies the importance of aviation and the realization that an adequate workforce is the lifeblood of the industry,” said Director of Aeronautics Victor Bird.

    Charged with the mission by state statute, the Commission, which invests more money in aerospace and aviation education than any other state, encourages students to consider aerospace or aviation as a career. The Commission’s education grant program has over 30 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.

    The Commission’s program has been nationally recognized, enjoying a positive reputation of investing more in aerospace and aviation education than any other state.  Since FY2001, it has awarded over $2.8M in aerospace and aviation education grants.

    In order for a program to qualify for an aviation education grant or contract, it must meet certain requirements. Most importantly, the program must demonstrate that its curriculum and goals are geared toward aviation and aerospace. 

    The following grants were approved by OAC Commissioners on August 12: 

    Ada City School District, $25,000

    Alva High School, $2,500

    Atoka Elementary School, $2,000

    Bishop John Carroll Cathedral School, $1,100

    Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma County, $15,000

    Cameron University, $1,500

    Class Matters, $2,700

    Davenport Public Schools, $8,000

    Dove Science Academy High School, $6,650

    El Reno Regional Airport, $2,300

    FIRST Robotics Competition, $7,500

    Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma, $2,500

    Gordon Cooper Technology Center, $3,000

    Grand Aces Aviation Ground School, $1,750

    Guthrie Edmond Regional Airport, $1,150

    KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, $7.500

    McAlester High School, $5,000

    MetroTechnology Center, and the FAA Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, $13,250

    Metro Tech STEM Mobile Lab, $10,000

    Mid-Del Technology Center, $4,000

    Mustang High School, $5,000

    Newspapers in Education Institute, $5,000

    Oilton Public Schools, $3,000

    Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation, $10,000

    Oklahoma Engineering Foundation, Inc., $5,000

    Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Foundation, $1,500

    Oklahoma Science and Engineering Foundation, $5,000

    Oklahoma State University, Speedfest, $9,000

    Okmulgee High School, $5,000

    Ponca City Regional Airport, $8,500

    Putnam City High School (Air Force JROTC), $12,000

    Rose State College, $13,500

    Southeastern Oklahoma State University, $6,500

    STARBASE Oklahoma Inc., $25,000

    STARR Solutions (Tinker Air and Space Show), $28,000

    Tulsa Air and Space Museum, $10,000

    Tulsa Community WorkAdvance, $15,00

    University of Oklahoma, Sooner Flight Academy, $46,000

  • OKLAHOMA CITY – A $136 million plan to improve Oklahoma’s airports over the next five years has launched following approval at the May 20 meeting of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC).

    The statewide Airport Construction Program (ACP) is for fiscal years 2021 through 2025 and will address needs at 50 of Oklahoma’s public airports. Projects range from extending runways and rehabilitating pavements, to replacing lighting systems and also the construction of new terminal buildings. The ACP is updated yearly and is based on project needs and a combination of funding through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), state funding from the OAC and local matches from cities.

    “This plan targets safety improvements and increases the growth potential for Oklahoma’s urban and regional airports,” Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz said. “These projects will ensure that airports in the Oklahoma Airport System are among the safest and most efficient in the country.”

    Major projects are planned at several airports including Oklahoma City’s Wiley Post Airport, Tulsa’s R.L. Jones-Riverside Airport, Bristow’s Jones Memorial Airport, Grove Regional Airport, University of Oklahoma’s Max Westheimer Airport, Ponca City Regional Airport, Ada Regional Airport, Muskogee’s Davis Regional Airport, and several others. Some notable project examples include:

    • Max Westheimer Airport in Norman - $10 million project to rehabilitate the parallel taxiway systems. In addition, the funding will go towards constructing a new air traffic control tower which is part of the FAA’s Federal Contract Tower Program.
    • L. Jones-Riverside Airport in Tulsa - $4.1 million to rehabilitate and upgrade its taxiway system, as well as to improve their crosswind runway which supports their flight training operations. With 400+ based aircraft, R.L. Jones is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the nation and is the busiest airport in Oklahoma.
    • Wiley Post Airport in northwest Oklahoma City - $4.5 million to widen the secondary runway to accommodate business jet traffic, as well as improving the pavement and lighting system for their crosswind runway. With 300+ based aircraft and almost 100 jets, Wiley Post is one of the primary hubs for business aircraft use in Oklahoma.

    Although a large part of airport funding goes to the busier airports in Oklahoma’s two metro areas, Regional Business Airports in smaller communities across the state will also benefit from this Five-Year Program, including:

    • $7.5 million to reconstruct the runway at Ponca City Regional Airport
    • $5.1 million to extend the runway at Robert S Kerr Airport in Poteau
    • $3.3 million to improve the runway and safety area at Ada Regional Airport
    • $3 million to rehabilitate the runway at Idabel’s McCurtain County Regional Airport
    • $2.2 million to repair the runway and taxiway at the Guymon Municipal Airport
    • $4 million to realign the parallel taxiway system at Miami Regional Airport
    • $1.5 million for a new terminal building at the Thomas P Stafford Airport in Weatherford
    • $5 million to realign the parallel taxiway system at Guthrie/Edmond Regional Airport

    “Most of these projects have been in the works for several years as airport sponsors, their consultants and agencies identified the most critical needs and diligently prepared plans to maximize available funding,” OAC Director Victor Bird said. “We appreciate the work of our partners to help us prepare this updated plan and to get work underway.”

    Improvement projects at the 108 public airports in the Oklahoma Airport System are prioritized based upon safety, preservation, standards and capacity. OAC Deputy Director Grayson Ardies estimates over the next 20 years there will be improvement needs of $1.8 billion on the overall system, with revenue projected during that time to be $1 billion. The OAC will continue to seek solutions for the estimated $800 million shortfall.

    To see the entire list of projects included in the FY2021-2025 ACP, please visit the Commission’s website at

  • TATEWIDE (September 15, 2020) –  Airport construction projects totaling $15,919,332 will soon commence across the state following last week’s announcement of funding by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  The fourteen grants for Oklahoma airports were announced by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao last week. 

    The FAA funding that was a part of the announcement is a mixture of FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and CARES Act funding.  It will be used for a variety of critical infrastructure and safety projects across the state which will include constructing and repairing runways and taxiways, installing airport lighting and signage, conducting airport master plan studies and installing perimeter fencing.

    The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission’s (OAC) Five-Year Airport Construction Program directs where a majority of the federal funding is spent at General Aviation (GA) airports throughout Oklahoma.  This process allows for prudent infrastructure investment and ensures that Oklahoma’s GA airports have the opportunity to take advantage of federal funding opportunities as they arise. 

    “These grants are critical to the success of our airport infrastructure and driving Oklahoma to be a Top Ten state in aviation and aerospace," said Governor Kevin Stitt. "Both nationally and globally, businesses are taking an increased notice in Oklahoma's industry-friendly environment and pioneering spirit. As we continue to develop our reputation as a fly-to state, this new investment will allow us to invest in critical infrastructure and actively improve our state's transportation assets with the future of our state, industry and people in mind." 

    The largest grant included in this announcement is a $3.2M project for runway rehabilitation at Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport and is expected to begin in October. The Lawton - Ft. Sill Regional Airport has served the Southwestern Oklahoma region since 1950 providing air transportation for the citizens of Comanche County and surrounding areas as well as Fort Sill.  The airport has an annual economic impact of $55M and several companies such as EZ GO, Dillard’s, Goodyear, Republic Paper, and Bar S use the airport to oversee operations they have in the area.

    Ardmore Downtown Executive is slated to receive just over $1.7M to install LED runway lighting, repair the runway pavement, and reconstruct a portion of the parallel taxiway.  The airport has an annual economic impact of $6M and several companies such as the Noble Foundation, DOT Foods, and AirEvac Lifeteam use the airport.

    In June, the Bristow Jones Memorial Airport opened a new 4,000-foot runway. Building on that, a new grant will now allow planners to focus on turning the old runway into a parallel taxiway that will provide for the efficient movement of aircraft after takeoffs and landings.  Total project cost is $2.7M and construction is set to begin this fall.

    “As a pilot myself, I know how important maintaining and upgrading Oklahoma’s airports are to the well-being and economic growth of our state,” U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe said. “Airports are key to economic development in local communities and this announcement of nearly $16 million in funding to invest in Oklahoma’s airports is critical right now. The Trump administration continues to bring relief to Oklahoma communities during these trying times and I look forward to seeing all of the benefits that will come from these important federal investments in Oklahoma.”

    Ponca City Regional will also begin a project to reconstruct their runway this month.  The $1.1M grant that was announced is just a piece of the larger $7.5M project that is one of the biggest single-phase GA airport project ever had in Oklahoma.  Pavement removal and replacement will be the biggest part of the project, but construction crews will also grade off to the sides of the runway to help with drainage and flooding issues, and runway lighting equipment and signage will be replaced. The airport has a $10M annual economic impact to the area. 

    Mid-America Industrial Airport in Pryor will extend their taxiway for $1.4M, and Seminole Municipal will reconfigure their existing taxiway with an $800K grant. Skiatook Municipal will reconstruct their entire runway with a grant for $2M.

    “Bringing these federal transportation dollars to our airports will help relieve the burden that our aging infrastructure has within the Oklahoma Airport System. Aeronautics has done an amazing job directing the federal funding and matching that with the limited state funds they have, but these grants will strengthen their efforts to improve Oklahoma’s system,” Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz said. “Regional airports connect communities to commerce, and the cities receiving grant funds will be able to leverage these improvements to create job growth and opportunity.”

    “This year has been unprecedented. Though airlines and air transportation are experiencing a setback due to the pandemic, the public will begin flying again at pre-COVID levels in the years to come. Just because air transportation is experiencing a downturn, our airport infrastructure does not stop deteriorating. It is wise that we continue investing in our air transportation system so that Oklahoma is positioned to not only recover successfully, but to flourish over the next decade because of our airport investments we are making this year. Reliable and safe access to the state and national aviation systems is critical to communities across the state for their economies and medical well-being of their citizens,” said state director of Aeronautics, Victor Bird.

    Commission staff will make routine site visits to the projects as well as attend progress meetings with the contractor/engineer, and will update the public through social media and other traditional media outlets. The public can receive those updates on Facebook @okaeronauticscommission.

    • Ardmore Downtown Executive  $1,776,226
      Install Runway Lighting, Rehabilitate Runway, Rehabilitate Taxiway
    • Jones Memorial (Bristow)  $2,722,222       
      Reconstruct Taxiway         
    • Carnegie Municipal  $266,666                   
      Install Perimeter Fencing, Install Taxiway Lighting       
    • Fairview Municipal  $37,400                
      Construct Taxiway                 
    • Hollis Municipal  $816,666                   
      Rehabilitate Apron, Rehabilitate Taxiway     
    • South Grand Lake (Ketchum)  $496,803
      Construct/Modify/Improve/Rehabilitate Hangar     
    • Lawton‐Fort Sill Regional  $3,274,251    
      Rehabilitate Runway           
    • State of Oklahoma  $221,814                  
      Update State/Regional System Plan or Study       
    • Various Locations/Oklahoma  $340,000  
      Construct/Extend/Improve Safety Area, Rehabilitate Runway/Taxiway   
    • Ponca City Regional  $1,118,764               
      Rehabilitate Runway                 
    • Mid‐America Industrial (Pryor)  $1,403,758
      Extend Taxiway 
    • Seminole Municipal  $816,172               
      Shift or Reconfigure Existing Taxiway           
    • Skiatook Municipal $2,000,000                 
      Rehabilitate Runway                       
    • Thomas Municipal  $628,590                 
      Construct Apron, Construct Taxiway                        

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