Aeronautics Commission Approves $3.1 Million Grant to Chandler Regional Airport
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Recently, the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission awarded state grants to several Oklahoma communities for various airport infrastructure projects. The Commission awarded the grants through its five-year Airport Construction Program (ACP).
“We know from our recently completed Aviation & Aerospace Economic Impact Study that the 108 airports in the Oklahoma Airport System are responsible for $10.6B of annual economic activity. It is important to maintain and continually improve our state airport system to meet the needs of users of the system such as business, aeromedical, and personal. The Commission is pleased to provide Oklahoma communities with federal and state financial assistance to develop and maintain their local airports.” said Director of Aeronautics Victor Bird. “These airports are gateways to the world for communities across our state.”
The city of Chandler received $3.1M in grant funds for constructing a parallel taxiway to Runway 17-35 at the Chandler Regional Airport. The total project cost was $3,272,989 and was funded with $2,945,691 in federal grant funds, $163,649 in state grant funds, and $163,650 sponsor matching funds. The Commission provided half the sponsor’s required federal matching funds.
Justifications for the project include that the airport does not have a parallel taxiway system, which requires traffic to back-taxi on the runway for every takeoff and landing. The runway has significant elevation changes on each end that causes a non-standard line of sight. With non-standard line of sight an aircraft having to back-taxi on the runway can cause a significant safety concern for operations at the airport, especially during times of inclement weather. This is especially true for this airport as it has two based jets which operate on a frequent basis. This parallel taxiway will provide an important safety feature that will prevent the need for back-taxiing.
The Chandler Regional Airport has 12 based aircraft and an annual economic impact of $1.8M. The regional business airports are the backbone of our state’s air transportation system and are located at the economic centers in the state. The Commission continues to focus the majority of the federal and state funds to regional business airports and projects that make significant improvements to the system. LaGere Walkingstick, a Chandler based commercial insurance agency that focuses on the transportation, oil and gas, construction, and manufacturing industries, has aircraft based at the airport.
Oklahoma is a leader in aviation education and training; statewide, it is estimated that there are about 1,570 jobs devoted to this endeavor. Chandler Regional Airport, in addition to its regional jet traffic, plays an important role in training tomorrow’s pilots and aviation professionals. More than 50 airports support aviation training. The airport is often used by students from Oklahoma University who perform training flights.
The ACP is the method used by the Commission to determine where federal and state funds will be invested. These decisions regarding airport development are consistent with achieving the goals laid out in the Oklahoma Airport System Plan (OASP). Airports included in the OASP are functionally classified as regional business, district or community. For more information about the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission programs and the 2017 Aviation Economic Impact Study results, visit oac.ok.gov.