The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission reported that during the last week of the legislative session, Governor Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 2900 into law. This was the state’s general appropriations bill for the 2021 legislative session and included in it was an appropriation of $2,000,000 to the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission for investment in airport infrastructure.
“This is monumental news for the agency given that we haven’t received an appropriation since the 80s and 90s,” said Grayson Ardies, State Director of Aeronautics. “It takes a team to get things like this accomplished, and I’m certainly proud of the Commission staff that worked both on the front lines and behind the scenes to secure an appropriation of this magnitude.
Ardies said that airports, pilots, and aviation enthusiasts across the state have helped to spread the good message of what the aviation industry in Oklahoma can do, as well as communicating the infrastructure needs, that airports in the state have in-order to maintain their status as economic drivers in their communities.
The Aeronautics Commission has spent years advocating for an appropriation for aerospace programs such as the CADSQ and OAI missions as well as for airport infrastructure. “It is no small feat for an agency like ours to get additional funds from the legislature,” said Ardies. “This is not only indicative of the work the agency has done but a reflection of the airport community that has supported us in our efforts for years, as well as the overall success the aviation and aerospace industry has provided for the state. The relationships that our airport community, as well as our industry partners, have worked on for years were invaluable to the success of our effort this year.”
“It was certainly hard work to get us to this point,” said Ardies, “but the work is just beginning. This will not be a one and done effort, it will be a continual evolution that will need to be fostered to ensure that the needs of Oklahoma airports will be met to further grow and expand aviation and aerospace in Oklahoma communities.”