State and local leaders celebrated the official opening of a new runway at Jones Memorial Airport in Bristow Friday.
The new runway at Jones Memorial Airport is 621 feet longer than the old one. That means bigger planes can land here, and also bigger business for Bristow.
State Director of Aeronautics Victor Bird is excited about what's happening in Bristow with this new 4,000 foot runway. Senator Jim Inhofe was the first pilot to land on it.
The $3.8 million project started in 2018 and was funded by a federal grant along with other state and local funds. Victor Bird said the runway is now ready for bigger planes.
"All turbo craft aircraft, almost all of them, and some small jets can now land, and take off from Bristow Jones Memorial," said Bird.
Bigger airplanes aren't the only things local leaders are hoping for. They expect the new runway to bring economic opportunity to the area. Bristow Mayor Rick Pinson said the city is open for business.
"This is going to be a way that I think we're going to capture a lot of aeronautical business through this expansion of this airport," said Pinson.
Bristow is already home to a division of Kratos, an aerospace company that specializes in unmanned aircraft. Stacey Rock said Oklahoma is a good fit for them.
"Here in Bristow, we overhaul engines for commercial aircraft, but we're also in the next year or so going to start manufacturing our own small jet engines," Rock said.
Rock is excited about the prospects of more aviation companies coming to Bristow.
"The hope is that we're going to have more businesses. More businesses that are also related to our business, vendors, suppliers," said Rock.
Leaders said they plan to add a terminal to the airport in the future.