OKLAHOMA CITY – Wes Stucky of Ardmore was recently selected chairman of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2011.
Stucky (pictured at right) will lead the seven-member board that is responsible for encouraging, fostering and assisting in the development of aviation in Oklahoma. This includes the preservation and improvement of the Oklahoma Airport System and promotion of the state’s top employer—the aerospace industry.
Other newly elected officers are Rick Armstrong of Tulsa, vice chairman, and Dr. David Conway of Durant, secretary.
The remaining members of the Aeronautics Commission include Kenneth Adams of Bartlesville, who served as chairman this past year; Dave Amis III and Tom Stephenson, both of Oklahoma City; and Joe Harris of Blackwell.
This marks the second time that Stucky has served as chairman for the Aeronautics Commission. He also served in that capacity in FY 2006.
Since 1987, Stucky has been president and CEO of the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce; Ardmore Development Authority; Ardmore Tourism Authority; and Ardmore Chamber Foundation, a unique combination of a public development trust authority, membership association and tax-exempt charitable organization. The Ardmore Development Authority also manages the Ardmore Industrial Airpark (Ardmore Municipal Airport).
Prior to his arrival in Ardmore, Stucky served as vice president for the Baton Rouge (La.) Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas City Kansas Area Chamber of Commerce. He also spent five years employed by the City of Shawnee (Okla.), culminating with a stint as city manager.
Stucky has served as chairman for numerous organizations such as the Governor’s Economic Development Team, Governor’s International Team, Oklahoma Economic Development Council and the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives Association. He also served on the Governor’s Aerospace Task Force. In 2002 he was the first recipient of the International Economic Development Council “Leadership in Public Service Award.”
Stucky earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo.
Since April 2007, Armstrong has served as vice president of FlightSafety International Simulation in Broken Arrow, Okla., where he is responsible for the development, manufacture and certification of flight simulators for military and commercial aviation markets. He manages FlightSafety facilities in Tulsa; Austin, Texas; and St. Louis, Mo.
Prior to joining FlightSafety International, Armstrong worked 18 years for The NORDAM Group in Tulsa where he served as vice president for the Interiors and Structures Division and Transparency Division. His employment background also includes an eight-year stint with Xerox Corporation.
Armstrong, (pictured at right) who also serves on the executive board of the Oklahoma Aerospace Alliance, holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from Oklahoma State University.
Conway (pictured below) is employed by Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant where he serves as director of the school’s Aviation Sciences Institute. Previously, he served as chair of the Aerospace Department and has been a member of the SOSU faculty since 1998. In 2003 he received SOSU’s Faculty Senate Award for Excellence in Service.
An avid pilot who holds commercial, instrument, CFI and multiengine ratings, Conway retired as a command pilot from the United States Air Force where he served as an instructor pilot and evaluator pilot in the Cessna T-37 and Boeing KC-135. He is also one of a handful of flight-rated aerospace physiologists.
Conway earned his Bachelor of Science at Texas A&M – Commerce, Master of Science at the University of Southern California and Doctorate of Education from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, and has completed coursework in human factors and physiology at specialized schools across the country, including OSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has had numerous articles published in various journals and magazines focusing on human factors in aviation. In addition, Conway recently completed two programs at Harvard University: The Art of Discussion Leadership and The Management & Leadership in Education, as well as a fellowship this summer in Higher Education Management at Vanderbilt University.
Oklahoma’s aviation and aerospace industry is one of the state’s largest employers, resulting in approximately 150,000 jobs statewide. The industry yields an annual industrial output of $12.5 billion and generates an annual payroll of $5 billion. One in 11 Oklahomans derive their income from the aviation and aerospace industry with an average salary of nearly $55,000 compared to about $30,000 for the average Oklahoman.
Oklahoma is also one of seven centers in the world for the modification, maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft, boasting the world’s largest military aircraft repair facility, Tinker Air Force Base, and the world’s largest commercial aircraft repair facility, the American Airlines Engineering Maintenance and Engineering Center in Tulsa.
In addition, Oklahoma has 113 publicly owned airports, placing it fourth nationally for the number of public airports per capita. A total of 42 of those airports are jet capable, meaning their runways are at least 5,000 feet long, the minimum distance needed by most jet aircraft to safely land or take off. Approximately 93 percent of the state’s population lives within 25 miles of an airport with a jet-capable runway.