Task Force Advises Marketing State Aviation Industry Nationwide

By May, Bill | THE JOURNAL RECORD, September 26, 1989 | Go to article overview

Task Force Advises Marketing State Aviation Industry Nationwide


May, Bill, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Oklahoma's aviation industry must be marketed nationwide like any other consumer commodity to encourage economic development, according to the Governor's Task Force on Aviation/Aerospace Education.

The state must develop a strong marketing strategy which includes information on job availability and aviation-related job training in the state, the group said in a report to Gov. Henry Bellmon.

It was asked for a study to produce an economic impact statement and the industry's potential for further development within the state.

"There is a lack of adequate information about the economic impact of aviation in Oklahoma," the task force statement read. "More specifically, there is a lack of both information and a marketing strategy for aviation to sell it both to in-state and out-of-state interests. There is also a lack of information available to school and career counselors about the potential for employment in aviation . . ."

Other recommendations of the group were:

- Develop a professional multi-media publicity campaign to sell Oklahoma as an aviation center for the country.

This campaign should showcase some of the major aviation interest in Oklahoma such as Tinker, Vance and Altus Air Force bases, the Federal Aviation Administration's Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, AAR Oklahoma, Gulfstream Aerospace Technologies, American Airlines, McDonnell Douglas and Rockwell International.

Also, the campaign should focus upon aviation-education in the state as supplied by Metro Tech's Aviation Career Center in Oklahoma City, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Tulsa area vocational-technical education centers, public school-based models and privately owned schools.

- Develop a complete listing of aviation job markets in the state and available training.

- A sales tax exemption on aviation parts, an incentive used to lure American Airlines to Fort Worth's Alliance Airport. If this type of exemption were available, the report said, all types of aviation maintenance would be more cost-effective in Oklahoma, thus attracting more business.

- Sales tax refund on construction material extended to include aviation maintenance facilities. The current law, scheduled to expire in 1990, grants this refund to manufacturers which build a facility costing $5 million and create 100 jobs.

- Low-interest, state-supported loans to assist industry in meeting environmental protection regulations and a state-funded research program into alternative materials which could be used without damaging the environment.

- Change requirements for industries receiving state-supported employee training assistance.

One of the problems facing the aviation industry, according to Ted Stranczek, task force chairman, is that the service industry does not receive equal treatment for many state programs.

"The training for industry programs of the state vo-tech system is a good example," said Stranczek, who also is president of AAR Oklahoma. "Only industries which fit certain SIC (Standard Industry Classification) codes can receive this type of assistance.

"In the past 10 years, we (AAR Oklahoma) have grown from 60 employees to more than 700 and our SIC code has not been changed. …

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