Oklahomans Have Much to Celebrate this August 19; Oklahoma Aviation & Aerospace Day
OKLAHOMA CITY – The summer of 2023 marks several aviation centennials with significant ties to Oklahoma’s aeronautical history. During the summer of 1923, Amelia Earhart earned a pilot’s license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, the governing body of sports aviation, and the Ninety-Nines International organization founded by Earhart is still headquartered in Oklahoma City. In 1923, Paul Revere Braniff, the father of commercial air travel, obtained his pilot’s license from Orville Wright and purchased his first airplane, and would later found Braniff Airlines, which was the foundation for the commercial air transportation system the world enjoys today. June of 1923, the groundbreaking achievement of the first aerial refueling mission by the U.S. Army Air Service set off a chain of events leading to the evolution of air refueling into the modern age, a mission that is now strongly engrained in Oklahoma’s military aviation landscape. Altus Air Force Base acts as the primary training installation for air refueling for the entire USAF and Tinker Air Force Base plays a dual role in the air refueling mission with their depot level maintenance activities on the KC-135 and KC-46 as well as hosting the 507th Air Refueling Wing.
One hundred years later, the Oklahoma aerospace and aviation industry is still pioneering modern solutions to the aerospace industrial supply chain, MRO activities in both the military and commercial aviation sectors, workforce challenges, and the future of advanced air mobility. Oklahoma’s industry today comprises over 1,100 companies that annually support 120,000 direct jobs and nearly $44 billion in economic activity making it the state’s second-largest industry.
The Aeronautics Commission pursued legislation to install a day in state statute to bring focus and attention to the contributions of Oklahomans who have dedicated their lives to developing flight and aeronautics in the state while giving attention and inspiration to emerging technologies. The state’s Oklahoma State Aviation & Aerospace Day was first celebrated on August 19, 2018, after the passage of Senate Bill 47 by Sen. Chris Kidd, R-Waurika, during the 2017 legislative session. The date runs concurrent to National Aviation Day which was originally declared on August 19, 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation encouraging citizens to observe the day with activities that promote interest in aviation.
Marking the law’s fifth year, several airports and aerospace organizations across the state are hosting events and ceremonies to feature the importance of aviation in their communities. “The landscape of the aerospace industry is constantly changing, and five years ago when the Legislature asked all citizens to devote some portion of their day to Oklahoma’s Aviation and Aerospace industry, they have continued to answer the call,” said Grayson Ardies, the Director for the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission. “Nearly every region of the state is hosting an event this weekend because they have vibrant airports in their community, their students are taking part in the ‘AOPA You Can Fly’ aviation curriculum that is sweeping the state making Oklahoma #1 in the nation for high schools involved in Aero education, or they have an aerospace business in their community. There is much to celebrate as Oklahoma’s aerospace industry is on an upward trajectory.”
August 19, Oklahoma Aviation & Aerospace Day Events
Ada Regional Airport
National Aviation Day (Fly-In or Drive-In) at the Ada Regional Airport from 10am to 3pm come will feature a fly-in, touch-a-truck, food trucks, historic aircrafts and so much more.
Airman Acres Airport, Collinsville
Wings, Wheels & Wishes is scheduled at Airman Acres Airport (OK93) in Collinsville, OK from 8 AM – 3 PM. The fundraiser helps provide wishes for kids with critical illnesses.
12600 N. 73rd E Ave, Collinsville, OK, United States, Oklahoma
Duncan Municipal Airport
KDUC in Duncan, Oklahoma, 8am-5pm, Duncan Municipal Airport will be hosting a celebration and community engaging activities and a morning breakfast.
Enid Woodring Regional Airport
August fly-in spot landing contest, Saturday, August 19th, 7:30-10:00.
Barnstormers breakfast $9.99 per plate, $4.99 kids 12 & under.
Sundance Airport, Oklahoma City
The Okie Derby Proficiency Air Rally, sponsored by The Oklahoma Chapter Ninety-Nines, has been held annually since 1979! The Oklahoma Chapter of the Ninety-Nines, Inc. annual Okie Derby event supports the “Wings of the Future Scholarship” by assisting women in realizing their dream to fly. We are proud to award one aviation scholarship for up to $5000. The derby is a cross-country proficiency event of approximately 200 statute miles for single, multi-engine aircraft & experimental aircraft (piloted by builder) to be flown during daylight hours under VFR conditions.
Sundance Airport, 13000 N Sara Rd, Yukon, OK 73099, USA
— oac.ok.gov —
Aviation Industry Facts:
The Oklahoma Aviation and Aerospace Industry produces just under $44 billion in annual economic activity, making it the second largest economic engine in our state. Three segments account for this total: Military aviation, $19.3 billion; off-airport aviation and aerospace businesses, $13.9 billion; and commercial and general aviation airports, $10.6 billion. Aviation & Aerospace supports 206,000 jobs totaling an $11.7 billion payroll. The average salary in the industry is $73,300, making it one of the highest average salaries in