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Oklahoma Department of Aerospace and Aeronautics and MidAmerica Industrial Park break ground on new regional business airport terminal

04/22/2024

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Officials with the State of Oklahoma and MidAmerica Industrial Park held a ceremonial groundbreaking today to commence construction of a new airport terminal at MidAmerica’s onsite H71 Regional Business Airport.

The new airport terminal is a joint investment partnership between the Oklahoma Department of Aerospace and Aeronautics (ODAA) and MidAmerica Industrial Park. Additionally, the ODAA led the effort to secure two grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a total capital investment of $3.285 million. The construction project features a new, 4,000-square-foot terminal at MidAmerica's on-site regional business airport including hospitality areas, an on-site conference room, pilot’s lounge and sleeping area, and back-office management space.

"Today marks a big step forward as we break ground on MidAmerica's new terminal” said Executive Director Grayson Ardies, ODAA. “This new facility is not just about bricks and mortar—it is about creating opportunities for this region and providing an amazing front door to this critical economic development asset in our state. With this investment, we are building a stronger future for Oklahoma's aviation industry.”

The ODAA serves as the lead government agency to support, promote, and advocate for the state’s second largest industry, aviation and aerospace. This includes providing funding, planning, programming and engineering expertise for Oklahoma’s airports and aviation infrastructure as well as ensuring the viability of the aerospace industry.

“Aviation is an essential piece of the state’s transportation network and economic ecosystems,” said Oklahoma Sen. John Haste, chair of the Senate Aeronautics and Transportation Committee.

In 2022, the Oklahoma legislature made the largest investment in state history for the Oklahoma Aerospace and Defense industry totaling nearly $250 million. With these funds, the ODAA is supporting infrastructure upgrades for the 108 public airports across the State of Oklahoma, aviation industrial parks, and workforce development opportunities.

“The legislature continues to invest in regular appropriations for the ODAA to support our growing aviation and aerospace industry in the state, allowing the agency to program funding for its Five-Year Airport Construction Plan,” Sen. Haste said. “This is one of the key reasons we are standing here today at this groundbreaking event.”

MidAmerica Industrial Park is overseen by the Oklahoma Ordnance Works Authority, a public trust established by the Oklahoma legislature in 1960. MidAmerica’s mission is to grow jobs, increase state and local tax bases and provide a positive economic benefit for the State of Oklahoma. The 9,000-acre industrial park is the eighth largest in the world and the third largest in the United States. More than 80 employers, including five Fortune 500 companies, employ approximately 4,500 workers from communities throughout Northeast Oklahoma.

“Today is yet another milestone in years of master planning and our Board of Trustees’ strategic, conservative investments in MidAmerica to enhance the transportation and critical infrastructure for our current and future employers,” said MidAmerica Chief Administrative Officer David Stewart. “Our historic H71 Regional Business Airport is an integral part of our operations and is often the very first impression made by a visiting, prospective new employer. The new terminal not only replaces an outdated relic from our history, but also provides a massive shift in the positive perception of MidAmerica and the State of Oklahoma.”

Since 2015, MidAmerica Industrial Park’s Board of Trustees have made strategic, conservative investments of more than $80 million in new roads and accessibility, water treatment facilities, workforce training and recruitment, and regional planning for residential housing and quality of life initiatives.

“MidAmerica Industrial Park is a tremendous asset for the State of Oklahoma. This regional business airport is more than just a mode for commercial or general aviation air transportation these airports are hubs of economic activity and jobs, supporting the grander aerospace ecosystem that keeps our Nation’s air transportation system operating as the best system in the world,” said Oklahoma Sen. Blake Stephens, representing the Senate District of MidAmerica Industrial Park and member of the Senate Aeronautics and Transportation Committee.

“Oklahoma ranks number one in the U.S. for high schools implementing the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) “You Can Fly” High School Aviation Curriculum, and states across the nation are taking notice,” Oklahoma Sen. Micheal Bergstrom said. “Pryor High School implemented the AOPA curriculum six years ago and are one of Oklahoma’s five Aviation High Schools of Excellence. MidAmerica Industrial Park supports training efforts to encourage students to pursue aviation technician careers to support Oklahoma’s vibrant aviation and aerospace industry.”

MidAmerica Industrial Park assumed management and maintenance of the H71 Regional Business Airport in 1989. The airport has a 5,000-foot runway and also serves as Northeast Oklahoma’s home base and fueling site for critical Life Flight services.

“As interest in MidAmerica Industrial Park continues to increase among businesses considering expansion or relocation, as we grow, so should additional capital investments in the airport,” Stewart said. “We thank ODAA and the legislature for its continued commitment to fund evolving needs in aviation and ensuring MidAmerica remains at the forefront of industry standards.”

 

ABOUT THE OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF AEROSPACE AND AERONAUTICS

The Oklahoma Department of Aerospace and Aeronautics serves as the lead government agency to support, promote, and advocate for the state’s second largest industry, aviation and aerospace. This includes providing funding, planning, programming and engineering expertise for Oklahoma’s airports and aviation infrastructure as well as ensuring the viability of the aerospace industry. For more information, visit https://oklahoma.gov/aerospace.html.


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At 9,000 acres, MidAmerica is one of the nation’s largest industrial parks, strategically located at a northeast Oklahoma crossroads.

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