Stimulus Cash, Grant Aids Okmulgee Airport

Air travelers flying in and out of the Okmulgee Regional Airport will soon have an easier – and safer – time accessing the airport’s hangar and terminal areas.
Airport and city officials recently learned that the Federal Aviation Administration had selected Okmulgee Regional Airport to receive $2.3 million in discretionary money as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The stimulus money will go toward reconstructing and realigning the airport’s parallel taxiway as well as reconstructing the taxi lanes.
Officials point to the taxiway’s poor pavement condition as the main reason for the reconstruction project. The taxiway is also bow-shaped which does not meet current FAA design standards.
Following construction, the taxiway will be straight and run fully parallel to runway 18/36. In the event that the airport has to shut down the runway, the new taxiway could be used as a temporary runway, officials said.
In addition to the ARRA funds, the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission approved a Capital Improvement Program grant in the amount of $162,000 to help the city of Okmulgee in its efforts to make the new taxiway’s pavement the same strength as the pavement on the airport’s existing runway. The city will contribute $250,000 of its own money toward that strengthening project.
“Okmulgee Regional Airport is critical to that city’s economic future,” Aeronautics Commission Director Victor Bird said. “Just like many other general aviation airports around the state, Okmulgee Regional serves as a link to commerce and industry as evidenced by those businesses and entities that frequently use the airport such as McCoy’s Lumber, Walmart and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, just to name a few. These are the same businesses that provide jobs within the community.”

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