Tinker construction money is approved

Friday, May 2, 2014

by Chris Casteel

The Oklahoman

The Air Force would get $111 million in construction money to prepare Tinker Air Force Base for maintenance duties on the KC-46A, the new aerial refueling tanker; Senate action is expected later this month.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force request for $111 million in construction money for Tinker Air Force Base cleared a major hurdle this week when the U.S. House passed a spending bill that includes the funding.

Approval for the construction money, which would be used to prepare Tinker for the arrival of the new Air Force refueling tanker, comes as state and local leaders are working on a plan to provide some of the financing for a new maintenance facility.

The facility could employ more than 1,300 at the base, which is already host to a huge repair depot. The KC-46A is too big for the existing depot: the plane is 52 feet high, about 165 feet long and has a wingspan of nearly 158 feet.

The military construction spending bill approved Wednesday night by the House included $63 million for a two-bay maintenance hangar and $48 million for infrastructure to support the new facility.

The Air Force got about $9 million last year to purchase land for the new hangars.

The Oklahoman reported Wednesday that Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County and state legislators are working on ways to help finance land acquisition for the depot.

Roy Williams, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, said the construction would ultimately cost $500 million and involve more than a dozen hangars.

Read the rest of this story at NewsOK.com

The photo on the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber's home page associated with this story shows an artist's rendering of a KC-46A refueling a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifter. PHOTO BY BOEING IMAGE