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Aerospace a major driver of Oklahoma economyAerospace a major driver of Oklahoma economy

Oklahoma’s aviation and aerospace industries generate an estimated $44 billion in annual economic activity for the state, supporting 206,000 jobs with an average salary of more than $73,000, and a total payroll of $11.7 billion, according to a newly released economic impact study.

Economic trends and the worldwide financial market can affect general aviation. iStock photo.

The Oklahoma Aviation and Aerospace Economic Impact Study found that "aviation and aerospace is now the second-largest economic engine in the state,” said Gov. Mary Fallin in a news release.

“The news could not be better as overall, aviation and aerospace, including commercial, general aviation, and military airports, and off-airport activity such as Boeing and NORDAM, are generating extraordinary economic activity annually,” she said. “The study confirms what many of us have thought for some time—that the aviation and aerospace industry is one of the top economic engines in Oklahoma.”

AOPA Central Southwest Regional Manager Tom Chandler was a member of the advisory board that oversaw the FAA-funded study—the first of its scope since an economic analysis conducted in 1994—for the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.

Since the 1994 report, the aviation/aerospace “footprint” has grown by 250 percent, said the analysis, which looked at the total economic impact of Oklahoma’s 109-public-airport system, the state’s three Air Force bases, and off-airport aviation businesses.

“Many of us knew aviation was big in Oklahoma, now we know just how big it is,” said Aeronautics Commission Director Victor Bird. “This study provides the foundation for system planning and future investment in our airport system for decades to come.”

The study is expected to help “put a face” on each airport in the state system “so that the general public would have a better understanding of all the benefits that are supported by the day-to-day operation of Oklahoma’s public airports,” the news release said.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Advocacy, Economic Impact, Airport Advocacy

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