State Senators Praise Oklahoma’s Aerospace Industry
Mike Seals - May 4, 2020 7:50 am
Senators praise aerospace industry pivot during pandemic
OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Adam Pugh and Sen. Paul Rosino want Oklahomans to be aware of efforts by the aerospace industry to shift gears and produce much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and other materials to help in the state’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Pugh, Chair of the Legislative Aerospace Caucus, praised the pivot by various aerospace companies throughout the state to protect citizens and frontline responders during the pandemic.
“Aerospace is Oklahoma’s second largest industry, and as such, it’s tremendously important to us in terms of employment and economic development. But it’s incredible how quickly these companies have applied their ability to innovate to help our state meet critical needs for PPE and other materials necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Pugh, R-Edmond. “On behalf of our entire state, the Legislative Aerospace Caucus salutes their contributions to keep Oklahomans safe in the face of this pandemic.”
Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, is also a member of the Legislative Aerospace Caucus and recently recovered from COVID-19. He also applauded the efforts of the aerospace industry.
“What they’ve done just further highlights the importance of the aerospace industry to Oklahoma. When this pandemic hit our state, we had to work fast to address a wide-range of needs for special equipment and protective gear, and these industries stepped up to the plate, demonstrating their professionalism, ingenuity and what good corporate citizenship is all about,” Rosino said.
Those companies and facilities stepping up to help include:
- American Airlines Maintenance facility in Tulsa has begun producing face shields.
- Rapid Application Group in Tulsa, FlightSafety International and FlightSafety Simulation in Broken Arrow have collaborated to design and produce 3-D printed medical grade respirators and face shields.
- Chickasaw Nation Industries have a contract to manufacture medical beds at their facility in Marietta and are producing commercial quantities of sanitizer.
- North American Aerospace in Enid has provided 200 face shields.
- Critical Components in Oklahoma City has worked quickly to obtain surgical masks and has offered their aerospace manufacturing capabilities to make parts for ventilators and other medical devices.
- Vigilant Aerospace provided its FlightHorizon detect-and-avoid and airspace management system to enable beyond visual line-of-sight capabilities for a demonstration flight of OSU’s specially modified medical supply delivery drone in April.
In addition to the companies shifting production to help in the fight against COVID-19, Boeing also stepped up to help redirect resources in another way. Boeing decided to forgo previously awarded funds of $1 million from the Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund to make those moneys available for the new Manufacturing Reboot Program. Boeing, which has operations located throughout Oklahoma, determined that these funds could be better served to help small businesses in the state work through the pandemic.