The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission recently announced that several airport improvement projects around the state are one step closer to completion. The commission has approved more than $1.4 million in state grants toward those projects.
The grants are part of the Commission’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which provides funding to Oklahoma airports for various infrastructure needs, such as runway maintenance and construction; installation of navigational aids; land purchases; terminal improvements; and installation and repair of airfield lights and signage.
Victor Bird, (Pictured at right) director of Aeronautics said that the Commission is pleased to provide these state grants for these worthwhile airport projects and that it is imperative that their local airports are consistently maintained in a way that ensures the safety of the pilots, their passengers and the aircraft they fly in. The Commission looks forward to helping other communities with their future airport projects as they continue to strengthen Oklahoma’s system of general aviation airports.
Enid Woodring Regional Airport was awarded a $445,000 CIP grant for a project to reconstruct the taxiway and taxilanes located in the hangar area as well as pavement in specific areas of the main apron. State aviation officials said the grant was warranted due to the extreme deterioration of the pavement in the affected areas. The entire cost of the project is $633,299 (construction only); however, the City of Enid will share in the cost by providing an additional $147,981 in matching funds.
About 90 aircraft are currently based at Enid Woodring Airport. The airport sees a combined 36,000 operations (takeoffs and landings) annually, nearly half of which are military flights associated with nearby Vance Air Force Base. Several businesses in and around the Enid area, such as Advance-Pierre Foods, Groendyke Transport, Continental Resources and Atwoods regularly use the airport for business purposes.
The Commission awarded a $400,000 CIP grant to the City of Kingfisher to help in the construction of a 2,800-foot paved runway and connector taxiway at Kingfisher Municipal Airport. The total cost of the project is $927,375 with the city providing $527,376 in matching funds. City officials have also agreed to spend an additional $114,980 to install runway lights sometime in the near future.
Ten aircraft are currently based at Kingfisher Municipal Airport, where 3,000 operations occur each year from various aircraft owners and small businesses, including parts suppliers. Aircraft that fly into the airport must now land on a 2,600-foot turf runway that is sometimes unusable during wet conditions.
Stillwater Regional Airport received a $363,158 CIP grant from the Aeronautics Commission that will be used for a $4 million project consisting of realigning the south and center portion of the airport’s parallel taxiway system, installing taxiway lights, and reconfiguring the main apron and taxiway signage. The FAA is providing $3,497,520 to fund the project, while the City of Stillwater is contributing $184,080 in matching funds.
State aviation officials said several large air carrier aircraft fly into Stillwater Regional Airport every year for Big 12 sporting events, which often time results in congestion on the main parking apron with smaller jet aircraft. The additional improvements will alleviate the congestion and allow aircraft to taxi around the main apron while the larger air carrier aircraft and jet aircraft park on the apron during peak periods.
During the latest reporting period, Stillwater Regional Airport had nearly 72,000 operations, half of which came from local aircraft, including those owned by local businesses and other entities such as Oklahoma State University, Special Energy and Eagle Med Air Ambulance. There are 80 aircraft currently based at the airport.
The Commission also approved a CIP grant in the amount of $221,006 for the City of Shawnee to make several improvements at Shawnee Regional Airport. The project includes rehabilitating and strengthening the runway, removing the MALS lighting system, improving the runway safety area and installing new LED runway lights. The total cost of the project is $3,838,732, which is also being funded through FAA grants totaling $3,524,477 and city matching funds of $93,249.
Officials stated that the condition of the runway pavement condition has deteriorated and needs to be strengthened so it can withstand larger aircraft and aircraft carrying heavy loads.
With its 5,600 foot runway and proximity to Oklahoma City, Shawnee Regional Airport sees about 5,000 operations annually, many of which are from aircraft owned and operated by some of Shawnee’s largest employers such as ExxonMobile Chemical, Wolverine Tuble and Eaton Corp. There are currently 37 aircraft based at the airport.
During the last two years, Shawnee Regional Airport has received nearly $8 million in federal and state grants for various airport improvements. The airport recently celebrated the grand opening of its new airport terminal, a two-story facility encompassing 4,000 square feet of space.
In addition to grants awarded to airports in Enid, Kingfisher, Stillwater and Shawnee, the Aeronautics Commission also approved a $12,795 CIP grant to Claremore Regional Airport in its efforts to remove a small earth obstruction that is located near the south end of the runway. Aviation officials said once the obstruction is removed, the airport will be more accessible to inbound aircraft during poor weather conditions.
The total cost to remove the obstruction is $513,000, which will be paid for through a combination of the state grant, a $486,210 grant from the FAA and $13,995 in matching funds from the City of Claremore.
Approximately 12,000 operations occur at Claremore Regional Airport annually, including from aircraft operated by Tulsa-area businesses such as G.A.P Roofing, DBA Architectural Millwork and DSTS, Inc. The latest figures show that 48 aircraft are currently based at the airport.