Oklahoma lawmakers study airport development

AP News
Posted: Dec 02, 2009 9:29 AM

State lawmakers have convened a study on the development of regional and municipal airports in Oklahoma.

The House Transportation Committee conducted the study Tuesday in Weatherford. It included a personal tour by former astronaut and retired Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas P. Stafford of the Stafford Air and Space Museum and Thomas P. Stafford Airport.

Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission director Victor Bird says Oklahoma has 111 general aviation airports, the fourth most per capita in the nation.

Bird says Oklahoma's small airports are important to regional economic development. He says businesses often prefer to fly directly into individual communities rather than through major airports in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

He says Oklahoma's aerospace industry provided 150,000 jobs and 535 aviation or aerospace-related businesses.