Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed the university working on the project and made an error in the company president’s name. Oklahoma State University is working with ATS World Wide and Stan Malicki is the president. This information has been corrected in the article below.
It was a busy Monday afternoon at Ardmore Airpark when local and state officials gathered for a groundbreaking marking the beginning of construction of the prototype of a new system to transport aircraft around airports. ATS World Wide is in charge of the new system, and Vice President and CEO Vince Howie described the project.
"It’s a new, innovative way to move aircraft around airports," Howie said. "It takes the aircraft from the runway to the taxiway and back to the runway without using aircraft engines. It will improve safety and save on fuel, emissions, and noise along with increasing engine life."
Howie said he has been working on the project in conjunction with the Oklahoma State University and ATS President Stan Malicki for over three years. Malicki is a Polish businessman, and Howie said this partnership represents an excellent opportunity for foreign investment in the state of Oklahoma.
"I’m an Oklahoma guy, and we knew we wanted to stay in Oklahoma. I was the aerospace defense director so I wanted to keep this at home," Howie said. "We looked all around and there was just a willingness and an attitude here (in Ardmore) second to none welcoming us to the community. It’s just been wonderful, and it’s been a great win/win for both of us."
Howie said ATS plans to hold an unveiling of the system near the end of February or early March. Once completed, companies from across the globe will then be able to come view the product in real airport conditions.
Ardmore Development Authority President Mita Bates said she is excited to be welcoming the company to town.
"Ardmore is pleased to welcome ATS World Wide to the Ardmore Airpark and look forward to partnering with them to showcase this innovative technology," Bates said. "Companies such as ATS World Wide provide additional opportunities for Oklahoma to be recognized in the aerospace sector."