Sen. Paul Rosino is thrilled that the Aerospace Commerce Economic Services (ACES) program has been signed into law and industry leaders can get to work collaborating to grow the state’s second largest industry.
“Oklahoma has an extensive system of public airports, a vast array of other aviation and other aerospace-related activities. This industry is essential to Oklahoma’s transportation network and economic ecosystems and this exciting program is going to keep it growing,” said Rosino, R-Oklahoma City. “This proven business model is going to help not only create more high-paying jobs and increase tax revenue for our state but it’s estimated to grow the aerospace industry to $50-$60 billion annually possibly surpassing oil and gas in the future.”
House Bill 2578, by Sen. Rosino and Rep. Tess Teague, will create a partnership of businesses, manufacturers, military installations, commercial aviation, educational institutions, nonprofit research institutions and state government to better meet the needs of the aviation, aerospace and defense industries. Areas of focus will include education, training, research and economic development. A panel will be formed, chaired by the Governor, to create and align goals. The program will be overseen by the Department of Commerce.
“I want to thank my colleagues and the Governor for their support of this important economic development bill,” said Rosino. “I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work with aerospace and aviation leaders from around the state as well as others from the business, education and nonprofit sectors to find ways to continue to grow this incredible industry.”
A 2016-2017 study by the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and numerous Oklahoma communities found that Oklahoma’s 109 airports employ more than 74,000 people and have an economic impact of $10.6 billion. The off-airport aviation/aerospace employers create nearly 59,000 jobs and create $13.9 billion in economic activities. Finally, military aviation employs nearly 73,000 and has a $19.3 billion economic impact on the state. The study can be viewed at www.oac.ok.gov.
Funding for the ACES program was made available through Senate Bill 1607, by Sen. Kim David and Rep. Kevin Wallace. The Department of Commerce was appropriated $445,000 to implement the program.