One of the first things you notice as you approach Grove Regional Airport’s new terminal building is its modern design. With a rooftop that looks more like a school house than an airport terminal, rest assured the ABCs of business aviation – Access, Business and Convenience – will be front and center for all to see.
Owners of the nearly 80 aircraft based at the airport, many of whom are local businesses, will no doubt enjoy what the new terminal offers. City officials and many well-wishers, including country music legend Roy Clark, gathered Tuesday inside the terminal and away from the gusty Oklahoma winds to show off their new facility in a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Grove Regional Airport Manager Lisa Jewett, center, gets ready to cut the ribbon celebrating the grand opening Tuesday of the airport’s new terminal building.)
The terminal building covers almost 4,400 square feet and has various amenities such as separate men’s and women’s restrooms, a pilot’s lounge with a big screen television and a plush conference room. City leaders even paid attention to the little things, like freshly popped popcorn for all terminal visitors from the airport’s new popcorn machine.
The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission provided a $500,000 grant to help in the terminal’s construction. The city of Grove provided another $500,000 and also paid for a new road leading up to the terminal as well as the parking areas.
“The new airport terminal is an impressive and much-needed facility at Grove Regional Airport,” Governor Mary Fallin said. “A modern terminal offering the latest in amenities for travelers and pilots and their crew is needed as the Grove area becomes more of a destination spot. The airport improvements will help attract businesses to a nearby industrial park as well as anglers, vacationers and tourists headed to Grand Lake. I’m glad the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission was able to provide a $500,000 grant to help with the construction of the new terminal building.”
Vic Bird, director of the Aeronautics Commission, praised local officials for their commitment in making the dream of a new terminal building become a reality.
“Airports are gateways to the world and give local businesses access to the global marketplace. They are also one of the first things people see when they come to a community,” Bird said.
He pointed to Integris Grove Hospital, one of city’s biggest employers, as one example of how businesses use general aviation to help them succeed and meet their bottom line.
“Employees can fly to Grove from its corporate headquarters in Oklahoma City and also make other stops throughout the state and then get back to OKC later that same day. You can’t do that in a car. It’s all about access and being efficient. And that’s what general aviation provides businesses,” Bird said.
Some of the other local or nearby companies that use the airport to transact business include Simmons Foods, Sooner Container, Cerner Corporation, Ratcliff Ranch, and Precision Machine & Manufacturing, just to name a few. The Grand River Dam Authority also flies aircraft into and out of the airport.
Bird said Grove Regional Airport has had a jet-capable runway since it was extended to 5,000 feet approximately a decade ago. But now, with the addition of the new terminal building, the airport is more than just an airport with a jet-capable runway. It is a full-fledged jet-capable airport.
“It’s great that the city of Grove gets it. They understand the value of what an airport means to a community and, more specifically, to its local economy. They made a commitment to do this terminal project and their efforts are to be commended,” Bird said.
State Sen. Wayne Shaw and State Rep. Doug Cox, both Grove residents, also shared in the city’s enthusiasm for this milestone.
“It’s a great time to be living in Grove as the community and the airport continue to grow and prosper,” Sen. Shaw said. “Many businesses and individuals in and around the city rely on the airport for various reasons, whether professionally or recreationally, which shows the value the airport has here in the northeastern part of the state. I congratulate all who have been involved in the construction of the new terminal building and look forward to seeing it used extensively for many years to come.”
A pilot himself, Rep. Cox said, “Take it from someone who has flown to many general aviation airports over the years. This new terminal building ranks as one of the best I have seen – period. It is a gem of a facility, and I personally am looking forward to taking advantage of its many amenities.”