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About the Department of Aerospace & Aeronautics

The Oklahoma Department of Aerospace and Aeronautics serves as the lead government agency to support, promote, and advocate for the state’s second largest industry, aviation and aerospace. This includes providing funding, planning, programming and engineering expertise for Oklahoma’s airports and aviation infrastructure as well as ensuring the viability of the aerospace industry. The agency is responsible for the administration and/or coordination of a statewide system of airports, cooperating with and assisting local, state, and federal authorities in the development of aviation infrastructure and facilities, acting as the central resource point in state government for the up-and-coming Unmanned and Advanced Air Mobility sector, and fostering the success of the state’s overall aerospace industry. The Department administers a robust aerospace and aviation education grant program to help the aviation and aerospace industry with their workforce challenges by introducing Oklahoma students to the available STEM careers that the industry has to offer. The Department also partners with Oklahoma’s Department of Commerce in the delivery of the ACES program which seeks to grow and develop the aviation and aerospace industry.

Founded originally in 1946 as the Aviation Commission, reorganized as the Aeronautics Commission in 1963, and renamed the Department of Aerospace and Aeronautics in 2023, this agency now encompasses the following divisions: Administration/Operations, Airport Development, Aerospace & Aviation Education, UAS/AAM.


The mission of the ODAA is to promote aviation and aerospace, which includes ensuring that the needs of commerce and communities across the state are met by the state's 108 public airports that comprise the Oklahoma Airport System, to foster the growth of the aerospace industry, and to help ensure the workforce needs of the aerospace industry are addressed by educating and making Oklahomans aware of the job opportunities that are available.


To be an efficient, innovative, customer-driven organization working collaboratively to provide safe, modernized, integrated and sustainable transportation options throughout Oklahoma.


To be an efficient, innovative, customer-driven organization working collaboratively to provide safe, modernized, integrated and sustainable transportation options throughout Oklahoma.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

The Oklahoma Department of Aerospace and Aeronautics has been granted specific duties and powers by the State of Oklahoma to ensure that it can properly perform its intended purpose. They include, but are not limited to: 

  • Encouraging, fostering and assisting in the development of aeronautics in Oklahoma
  • Encouraging the establishment of airports and airport facilities
  • Ensuring a viable aerospace industry in Oklahoma
  • Drafting and recommending legislation to advance the state’s interest in aeronautics
  • Applying for, receiving, and disbursing federal and other public funds
  • Providing financial assistance to airports through grants or loans
  • Organizing and developing an aerospace education program

The Oklahoma Department of Aerospace and Aeronautics (ODAA) was created by the Legislature in 1963. The ODAA was a successor agency to the Oklahoma Aviation Commission, which was created by the Legislature in 1946, predating the Civil Aeronautics Board and Administration, which became the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In view of the fact that Tinker Air Force Base was built in the early 1940s, American Airlines largest maintenance base was moved from New York’s LaGuardia Airfield to Tulsa in 1946, and the Civil Aeronautics Administration’s Standardization Center was moved from Houston to Oklahoma City in 1946, state and prominent business leaders believed that it was essential for the state to have a state agency focused upon aviation, aerospace, and airports to ensure that state government did all that it could do to take full advantage of the opportunity presented by the rapid growth of aviation after World War II. Aviation was having a profound impact upon the everyday lives of all Americans. It was dramatically shrinking the world.

The core responsibility of ODAA has been to ensure that the needs of communities and commerce across the state are met by a system of public airports, the Oklahoma Airport System (OAS). ODAA has utilized federal, state, and local funds to make the investment for needed development and maintenance to the 108 airports that comprise the OAS. Beginning in 2001, with aviation-generated revenue provided by the Legislature from the aircraft excise and fuel taxes, and aircraft registration fees, ODAA has been able to make a meaningful investment in our airport system that has also resulted in receiving additional federal funding from the FAA for our airport system.

Since 2002, ODAA has received $99.9 million from this aviation-generated revenue and invested $79.7 million in airport infrastructure across the State—80% of the revenue that ODAA has received since FY 2001 has been invested in airport infrastructure! That is a rate of return to the users of the OAS who pay the aircraft taxes and fees that fund ODAA of which the State can be very proud. Many of these investments in infrastructure have been critical to airport projects. The 2,000 foot extension to the runway at Enid would not have been possible without the largest State/ODAA airport grant ever of $2.5 million. The extension was done so that T-38 trainer jets from nearby Vance AFB could land and takeoff from the Enid municipal airport rather than having to go to Wichita or Tulsa to train when the main runway at Vance is closed for maintenance; a significant step to help BRAC proof Vance. The record investment from ODAA was necessary because the FAA could not invest what it usually would because the extension was driven by military rather than civil aviation demand. Another great example is the federal/state/local investment directed by ODAA for infrastructure improvements at the Stillwater Regional Airport. The $27.7M in total investment ($24.5M Federal, $1.9M State, $1.3M Local) is the most for any general aviation airport in the state. These projects were the foundation that allowed the airport to achieve its goal of having scheduled commercial air service that started in 2016. These are just a few examples of many critical federal/state investments in airports that the ODAA has been able to do. Having funding to invest at the state level has also been leveraged to garner $384 million in federal/FAA funding. The state investment has been particularly pivotal insofar as the receipt of federal discretionary funding.

These are just a few examples of many critical state and federal investments, directed by ODAA that have also figured prominently in economic development and sustainment in many communities across the State. Major employers such as Michelin in Ardmore (Ardmore’s largest employer), the Chickasaw Nation in Ada, Seaboard Farms in Guymon (Guymon’s largest employer), and Conoco-Phillips (Phillips 66) in Bartlesville (Bartlesville’s largest employer) all cite having immediate and ready access to their sites in those communities through the local airport as significant reasons they chose to locate or stay in those communities. These are just a few examples of similar stories across the State.

Last Modified on Oct 23, 2023
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