OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation aimed at increasing the number of direct flights to Oklahoma has now been signed into law. Senate Bill 1461, by Sen. Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, creates the Oklahoma Air Service Development Grant Program (OASDGP), which will be administered by the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC).
Rosino said the grant program would enable the state to partner with commercial airports and communities as they work to attract new direct routes, bolstering economic development efforts for those communities and for the entire state.
“This is a great program for Oklahoma. There are many businesses that won’t even consider relocating or expanding to a community without having a direct flight to the city where they’re headquartered. Having a statewide program providing grant funding to our commercial headquarters can give them an important edge when competing with other states for those critical direct routes,” Rosino said. “I’m grateful for the work of my House principal author, Majority Leader Jon Echols, the great support of our fellow members, and to Governor Kevin Stitt for signing this measure into law.”
Under SB 1461, grant funding can be used for commercial air service development projects to support the introduction of new airline service in the state. Eligible entities must demonstrate the ability to provide a minimum 20 percent of project funds through local sources and submit an application and business plan to be considered. Once selected by OSADGP and the Department of Commerce, the state will enter into a grant agreement contract with recipients prior to distributing program funds.
The measure also creates a revolving fund for OAC, which will consist of monies received by the Tax Commission, any public or private donations, contributions and gifts, and any amounts appropriated by the Legislature.
“The establishment of the Oklahoma Air Service Development Grant Program will be a shot in the arm for economic development in our state,” Echols said. “Oklahoma is no longer a flyover state, we are a fly-to state, and programs like this will help attract more people to come and see what our beautiful state has to offer.”
For more information, contact: Sen. Paul Rosino at 405-521-5618 or email Paul.Rosino@oksenate.gov.