PICTURED: Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority Executive Director Jeri Koehler (center) alongside U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe and other community representatives from across the state.
The Claremore Regional Airport and Claremore Industrial Authority (CIEDA) were in Wisconsin this week connecting with prominent companies at an annual aviation convention.
The two organizations partnered with representatives from across the state and the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission to host at booth at AirVenture Oshkosh, a national convention featuring every imaginable type of aircraft, air shows, and countless large aviation and fuel companies, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Shell.
The groups’ booth is in its fifth year at Oshkosh, where they work to bring business to the state of Oklahoma. Throughout the week Claremore Regional Airport and CIEDA officials took the opportunity to promote the positive business climate in Claremore.
“Our message to potential businesses looking to locate in Claremore is simple,” said Jeri Koehler, Executive Director of CIEDA. “We are a growing community committed to serving our industry partners. We are focused in our approach and invite potential industry partners to experience the many benefits of doing business in Claremore.”
For more than two decades the Claremore Regional Airport has received regular traffic from major area industries and served the needs of flight schools. During a May 2015 address, Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission Director Vic Bird emphasized the tremendous value that general aviation airports have on maintaining and growing a healthy and vibrant economy.
“General aviation airports are vital for businesses because they allow executives to travel more quickly and efficiently, Bird said. “An example is Baker Hughes, an oilfield service company and large area employer that uses the Claremore Regional Airport on a frequent basis”
In 2014, the airport had a traffic volume of 15,000 operations (takeoffs and/or landings), with jets making up six percent of that traffic. It receives weekly use from industrial clients that include Baker Hughes in Claremore and Google in Pryor.
“The growth we’ve experienced in the past few years is unprecedented for regional airports of our size,” Eric Winn, Claremore Regional Airport Manager, said. “In this time, we’ve seen great strides in expansion and development.”
The Claremore Regional Airport is owned by the City of Claremore and managed by CIEDA. The airport’s growth over the past five years has included the construction of 15 new private and commercial hangars plus a partnership with Rogers State University and Tulsa Aviation Group that has established a flight ground school at the facility.
“We are proud of the asset we have in our airport,” Koehler, said. “Few communities in Oklahoma can boast such a fine facility. It is a great benefit to our business and industrial partners, and we are proud to partner with RSU Aviation to bring instruction to future pilots.”
Koehler along with the booth’s other representatives plan on ending their work at the convention with U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe’s annual lunch for Oklahoma communities where they will discuss the week’s accomplishments and present Claremore to their Oklahoma colleagues.
Ultimately, Claremore representatives seek to leverage this opportunity to partner with their Oklahoma colleagues in a unified voice to highlight the state’s ability to support a new and thriving business.