Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission has approved a $184 million Airport Construction Program for fiscal years 2023-2027, including multi-million-dollar projects planned for Enid Woodring Regional Airport and other Northwest Oklahoma facilities.

In all, 85 airport infrastructure projects serving 57 communities throughout Oklahoma are included.

More than $127 million in federal funds will pay for the majority of the projects based on federal formula funding as well as competitive discretionary projects, while $22.2 million in state grants and $33.7 million in local matching funds will cover the remaining costs.

The biggest of the four projects included in the ACP for Woodring is nearly $2.7 million in funding for the 2026 fiscal year for expansion and rehabilitation of the apron along runway 13/31.

“The pavement is at a point where it is more cost-effective to rehabilitate than to let it deteriorate until reconstruction is required,” OAC’s project report states.

Woodring Airport Director Keston Cook said adding the space for the airport’s military and transient customers would increase safety, by de-conflicting terminal apron access to the runway.

Creating stops along the apron would prevent what Cook said are called “runway incursions.”

“We’ve been looking for getting more room for our ramp for a long time, so we’re excited to be finally moving toward that goal,” he said. “It’ll get rid of direct access between the two (runways), which is something the FAA has been pushing to do for a long time. Thankfully, we’ve never had a problem with it there, but there’ve been other issues at airports across the country.”

Of the total cost, the local match is $125,000.

Other Woodring projects are:

• More than $1.91 million to reconstruct runaway 13/31. Most of that money is in the 2022 fiscal year budget. The local match is $80,556.

“The pavement is at a point where it is no longer cost effective to continue to rehabilitate it and it is at the point where reconstruction is required,” OAC states.

• $1.1 million in FY 2024 and 2025 for rehabilitation of runway 17/35. The local match is $55,000.

“The existing runway and taxiway pavement is exhibiting distresses such as joint damage and minor to moderate joint and corner spalling,” according to OAC.

While the runway is closed for work, the old runway lights will be replaced with LED lights, and new LED guidance lights will be installed.

• $750,000 in FY 2024 and 2025 for construction of a taxilane “that will facilitate the airport’s need for additional hangar development.” The local match is $237,500.

“These taxilanes will go to improve access to additional development areas to help ensure successful future economic development opportunities for years to come,” according to OAC.

Alva Regional Airport is in line for two projects:

• $150,000 in FY 2022 to replace the automated weather observing system to improve safety by providing pilots with “accurate, real-time weather information.”

• Nearly $2.17 million in FY 2024 to rehabilitate the taxiway adjacent to runway 18/36. While the taxiway is closed for the work, new LED taxiway lights will be installed to “ensure the airport has 24/7 functionality and increase situational awareness during taxi operations.”

Fairview Municipal Airport also is up for two projects:

• $250,000 in FY 2022 to install a new automated weather observing system.

• Nearly $2.17 million in FY 2024 to construct a parallel taxiway system to runway 17/35. This is the second phase of a multi-phase project.

“This airport continues to see increased traffic due to the recent runway widening and extension,” according to OAC, and the taxiway system will improve safety.

West Woodward Airport also is in line for two projects:

• $956,791 in FY 2023 to construct a taxiway to provide access to runway 05/23.

• $1.5 million in FY 2026 to build a new terminal building. Woodward’s share of the project is $1 million.

“The existing building does not provide sufficient room and facilities to accommodate the mix between waiting passengers, pilots and others visiting the airport,” according to OAC. “The improvements will provide passengers and users of the terminal the facilities and amenities they would expect to receive at a regional business airport.”

Through its ACP, OAC determines funding for airport projects at the 104 general aviation airports across Oklahoma. While projects are prioritized based on safety, standards, pavement preservation and being aviation business ready, the overall Oklahoma Airport System Plan (OASP) that is approved by OAC is the long-term planning tool used to identify the network of airports and the infrastructure requirements needed to serve the state.

“We are very fortunate that our aviation industry is recovering at a record pace in Oklahoma and these investments will ensure that we continue on our upward trajectory, said Grayson Ardies, state director of aeronautics. “With the state’s leaders investing even more into airport infrastructure, our ACP will undergo changes in the upcoming months and years. We will have the opportunity to invest in new hangars, more terminal buildings and other infrastructure upgrades that will allow our airports to attract new businesses and companies.”

Article by: Kevin Hassler, Enid News & Eagle 6.24.22

Photo by: Billy Hefton