The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber has been actively developing the aerospace and aviation industry in Oklahoma City since as early as 1919, a time when airplanes represented a new era of travel and exploration. In these years, the staff of the Chamber did everything they could to garner interest in aviation––including mailing bricks to friends around the U.S. to meet the weight requirements for Oklahoma City’s air mail route.
Almost 100 years later, the Chamber is still pursuing the growth of aerospace in Greater Oklahoma City, but we no longer have to mail bricks to strengthen this important industry. According to the Greater Oklahoma City Region Aerospace Industry Survey and Economic Impact Assessment, which we will release this month, there are 67,000 jobs, $4.1 billion in labor income and $8.2 billion in goods and services associated with this industry in our region. And while aerospace activity is highly concentrated in Oklahoma County, companies are in all 10 counties of our region.
The years of strategic economic development have created an economy that stands on its own merits when attracting aerospace companies. Two of our most engaged partners will celebrate significant milestones this month, further illustrating the momentum of this important industry. Tinker Air Force Base will break ground on its KC-46A facility, representing more than 1,300 direct jobs in our community and hundreds of millions in capital investment. The Boeing Company will also celebrate the grand opening of its research center as it continues to deepen its investment in Oklahoma City’s aerospace community. Because of Tinker’s mission and the companies that support it, our aerospace industry has never been stronger.