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Thu, Nov 09, 2023

Oklahoma Launches Department of Aerospace and Aeronautics

The Sooner You Know …

In 1963, the Oklahoma state legislature created the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission and tasked the agency with the development of the state’s aeronautics industry and infrastructure. In a formal sense, the Commission’s historic charter has been to promote Oklahoma’s aerospace industry and ensure the needs of commerce and communities across the Sooner state are comprehensively met.

Comes now 2023, and the renaming of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, which shall be known, henceforth, as the Oklahoma Department of Aerospace and Aeronautics.

Coined by the 59th Oklahoma Legislature to reflect the expansion of the state’s aerospace and aeronautical industries, the new appellation took effect 01 November.

Its new moniker notwithstanding, the agency will continue to provide the citizens of Oklahoma expanded programs in airport infrastructure, aerospace business and workforce development, aviation and aerospace education, and aero safety.

Referred to as the land of fertility and progress, Oklahoma became the U.S.’s 46th state on 16 November 1907. Three years later, Oklahomans bore witness to the first mechanically powered flight over the state.

Oklahoma’s aviation and aerospace industries provide nearly 206,000 jobs and a combined annual payroll of some $11.7-billion. The average industry salary is $73,300—one of the highest in the state. All told, Oklahoma’s aerospace industry generates an impressive $44-billion in annual economic activity. Moreover, by virtue of the state’s network of 108 public airports, 96-percent of Oklahomans reside within thirty-minutes (driving time) of one of 44 airports provisioned with five-thousand-plus-foot, jet-capable runways.

Additionally, nearly ninety-percent of the Oklahoma aerospace industry’s more than four-hundred companies are engaged in the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) of aircraft. Accordingly, Oklahoma boasts one of the world’s highest concentrations of skilled aviation workers and aircraft repair facilities.

FMI: www.oklahoma.gov

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