Great planes: Why Oklahoma is one of aerospace’s hotspots

A recent report, coordinated by the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC), found that aviation and aerospace is now the second-largest economic engine in the state of Oklahoma. Vince Howie, Director of Aerospace and Defense, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, explains why.

The study, coordinated by the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC), found that airports; off-airport aviation and aerospace businesses; and military aviation produce almost $44 billion in annual economic activity in Oklahoma. Altogether, aviation and aerospace businesses support 206,000 jobs and an $11.7 billion payroll, according to the report.

The research measured the total economic impact of each individual airport and then combined these to determine the overall economic impact of the 109 airports in the Oklahoma Airport System and the state’s three Air Force bases: Altus, Tinker, and Vance.  The last comprehensive study of the state’s airport system was conducted in 1994.

“The footprint of aviation and aerospace in our state has grown dramatically – 250% - in the more than 20 years since our last study,” the report concludes.

Did you know?

  • Clyde Cessna flew his first aircraft in the state of Oklahoma
  • Wiley Post invented the high-pressure suit there
  • The state has more astronauts per capita than any other in the US
  • Oklahoma is home to the two largest MRO facilities in the world

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