Guest Column: Taking flight in Ardmore

The Daily Ardmoreite
Andrea Anderson

Aviation and aerospace make up the second largest industry in Oklahoma. In Ardmore, it is quickly soaring to the top of the list. With the August announcement of the Global Transportation and Industrial Park (GTIP) at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark, the decades-long dream of international air cargo is one step closer to reality. King Aerospace, also at the Airpark, is Ardmore’s premiere aviation employer. As a preferred provider for Boeing Business Jets, they are well-known amongst international VVIPs who regularly drop their planes for maintenance.

If you’ve been around anyone with ADA, you know that we are not ones to be satisfied. This past week, I joined other members of Team Oklahoma to meet with aviation companies at the National Business Aviation Association annual meeting. Over the course of the show, we met with 20 companies looking at expansion or relocation opportunities in Oklahoma. We already have follow-up conversations scheduled for Ardmore.

No industry can survive without a stream of trained employees. To support the expanding needs of both King Aerospace and other opportunities at the Airpark, Southern Tech is adding a new Airframe & Powerplant certification program for anyone who wants to become an aircraft mechanic. With this program, students will no longer have to leave Ardmore for Dallas, Oklahoma City, or Tulsa to receive the necessary education or to work in aviation and aerospace.

On top of this, the ADA is hosting our first fly-in on Saturday, November 6. From 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 we will be hosting Airplanes & Coffee, a general aviation flying group from Texas, for their first out-of-state fly-in. The Sammich Shak Food Trailer will be on hand all morning with a variety of food. Make plans to come out and see the planes takeoff and land!

Now is an exciting time for all things aviation in Ardmore!

— Andrea Anderson, Vice President of Economic Development, Ardmore Development Authority.