Airport Development Examined

The director of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission reports that Oklahoma has 111 general aviation airports, the fourth most per capita in the nation.
Director Victor Bird spoke at an interim study held at the Stafford Air and Space Museum in Weatherford. The study, requested by state Rep. John Wright, centered on Oklahoma regional and municipal airport development and included a personal tour by former astronaut and retired Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas P. Stafford of the Stafford Air and Space Museum and Thomas P. StaffordAirport.
State Rep. Charles Ortega said his district is the home of Altus Air Force Base, the U.S. Air Force’s training base for pilots and aircrew in the C-17 and KC-135.
“I believe aviation is vital to future economic growth and development across the state ofOklahoma,” Ortega, R-Altus, said. “Access to our regional airports is a huge consideration to companies either existing or wanting to locate in our state.”
In his presentation, Bird stressed the importance of Oklahoma’s many small airports to regional economic development, noting that business often preferred to fly directly into individual communities rather than through major airports in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. He also noted Oklahoma’s aerospace industry provided 150,000 jobs directly and indirectly and that there were 535 aviation or aerospace-related businesses in the state.

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