Aeronautics Commission Approves Improvement Plan

A proposed three-year plan that allocates federal and state funds to help improve Oklahoma’s public airports was formally approved by the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission recently.

The Three-Year Capital Improvement Program provides funding to Oklahoma airports for various capital needs, such as runway maintenance and construction; installation of navigational aids; land purchases; and installation and repair of airfield lights and signage.

Through the program, more than $48 million in federal and state funds have been identified for 20 proposed projects across the state during fiscal years 2008 through 2010.

With the exception of Alva Regional Airport, Commission director Victor Bird said that all of the other airports listed in the CIP are jet capable, meaning their runways are at least 5,000 feet in length and are able to accommodate corporate jets.

He said making Alva’s runway jet capable is also included in the CIP and
that many of the corporate jets that fly in and out of those airports
belong to companies that provide jobs on which those communities depend.

A priority for the three-year CIP is to target several pavement-related projects, most notably in Durant, Okmulgee and Shawnee. Eaker Field in Durant would receive $5.3 million to realign and reconstruct a parallel taxiway to its main runway, while Okmulgee Regional Airport is set to receive $2.7 million to realign and rehabilitate its taxiway system. Nearly $2.5 million would also go toward the rehabilitation of the runway at Shawnee Regional Airport. Additional funds will also be needed at both the Okmulgee and Shawnee airports in 2011 to complete their individual projects.

Aviation officials note that $280 million worth of airport projects are actually needed across the state. However, the CIP is constrained to the amounts of federal and state funds the Commission will receive during the next three years.

Officials anticipate spending about $12 million of state funds through the CIP during the next three years. A majority of those funds—approximately $8.0 million—have been designated for FY 2008 projects, including $2.5 million to install an instrument landing system at Oklahoma City’s Wiley Post Airport and $2.4 million for a concrete overlay at Bartlesville Municipal Airport.

Other proposed projects on the list include:

$1.9 million to realign and reconstruct the parallel taxiway, rehabilitate taxilanes and aprons, and update the airport layout plan at Ada Municipal Airport.

$5.8 million to relocate and extend the runway at Alva Regional Airport.

$2.1 million to acquire land around Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport for airport development and runway approaches.

$2.3 million to rehabilitate one of the runways and the asphalt portion of the general aviation ramp located on the northeast portion of the University of Oklahoma’s Max Westheimer Airport in Norman.

$5.6 million to strengthen or rehabilitate taxiways, install taxiway lights and extend the taxiway at Oklahoma City’s Wiley Post Airport.

$6.9 million to construct a parallel taxiway at Ponca City Regional Airport.

$1.2 million to rehabilitate airfield pavements at Tulsa’s Richard L. Jones Jr. Airport.

$1.1 million to reconfigure the apron and taxiway at Stillwater Regional Airport.

$1.2 million to relocate a hangar to accommodate aircraft parking at Weatherford’s Thomas P. Stafford Airport.



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