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2 aerospace bills pass state House

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Two bills slated to further expand the state's aerospace industry passed the state House of Representatives on Tuesday, read a press release from the House.

"Aerospace is one of Oklahoma's fastest growing industries, and we are going to do everything we can to foster that industry and help it grow," said Rep. Mike Jackson, chairman of the House Aerospace and Technology Subcommittee.

The Regional Business Airport Modernization Act and the The Aerospace Development Act of 2008 both passed the House Tuesday in an effort to boost Oklahoma's economy in general and further the aerospace industry in the state.

The Regional Business Airport Modernization Act asked for $10 million to modernize Oklahoma's 49 regional business airports. The bill seeks to ensure that those regional airports in areas with significant economic activity and high aviation demand are accommodating to the businesses that use them.

The bill passed the House with a vote of 89-9 and will next be heard in the Senate.

"These airport upgrades will allow our communities to more successfully compete for those businesses that create jobs for their citizens and stimulate Oklahoma's economy," said Jackson, R-Enid.

The Aerospace Development Act of 2008 is looking to create the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute underneath the state Aeronautics Commission. The institute's mission is to help further aerospace education in Oklahoma.

Authored by Rep. Gary Banz, House Bill 3098 seeks $2.5 million to help local suppliers get contracts with Tinker Air Force Base and the federal government.  This bill passed 90-10 in the House and is also on track to the Senate.

Both bills are contingent upon funds being appropriated through the budgeting process.

"Our growing aerospace industry is so vital to diversifying Oklahoma's economy," said Banz, R-Midwest City. "We need to do all we can to ensure this industry can expand. It is time we get behind this sector of our economy and make a financial commitment to its growth."

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