Activity on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., probably is
going to improve Oklahoma's aviation industry.
At least planners on the state level feel that way.
Two bills which give rise to that feeling are the General
Aviation Development Act and the Airport Improvements Plan,
contained in funding for the Federal Aviation Administration's
budget for Fiscal Year 1995 which begins Oct. 1.
Most people tend to discount Oklahoma's benefit from aviation
tort reform, which limits product liability cases to 18 years
after manufacture, because there's little aviation manufacturing
in the state.
Biggest impact, though, says aviation system planner Bob
Jardee of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, will be on the
"Simply because there's going to be an increase in
manufacturing in other states, means there will be more airplanes
to use our airports," Jardee said. "That's going to result in a
major impact on facilities and maintenance."
Already Jardee is in the process of developing a demand
analysis of the state's aviation system.
"(The analysis) will show Oklahoma counties demand data useful
in determining airport priorities in the (commission's capital
improvements plant)," he said. "(It will) show recent population
shifts by county (and) economic growth trends in the state by
The $4,980 cost for the study, which will be given to all
sponsors of publicly owned airports in the state for their
planning purposes, will come from the $12 million Oklahoma is
receiving from the Airport Improvements Plan.
Another portion of the system includes developing a state
master plan for updating and modernizing five publicly owned
airports, expanding other airports and assisting with site
selection and planning of new airports.
"The Oklahoma System Plan (contains) a capital improvement
program for approximately 105 of the state's 400 airports,"
Jardee wrote in a report to the FAA. "From the airport
development needs, a five-year capital improvement program is
assembled that represents national and state priorities as well
as the anticipated financial assistance available for federal-
and state-funded projects.
"The goal of the Oklahoma System Plan is to identify a system
of aviation facilities to meet national and state needs for
capacity and access, and to develop a program for facility
improvements that will enable them to perform their system
While Oklahoma has 400 airports, only 105 of them are in the
National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems, Jardee said.
"We plan to hold a series of regional meetings so that we can
get as much public involvement in this planning process as
possible," Jardee said. "We, naturally, want the airport
sponsors, FBOs (fixed base operators, sort of on-airport service
stations), airport managers, pilots, businesses and other airport
users involved as much as possible. But we also want the public,
the people who are paying and benefiting from these airports, to
give us their input also.
"This is already being accomplished by other states; it's a
regular part of the planning for the national system."
Planning meetings such as these help develop the five-year
capital improvements program, according to the commission's
airport engineer, William J. …