The Norman Transcript

Government

April 29, 2014

Commander Aircraft Corp. to occupy 2 Westheimer hangars

NORMAN — Aerospace jobs are coming to Norman in the near future.

Gov. Mary Fallin, the University of Oklahoma, the Norman Economic Development Coalition and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce announced Monday that Commander Aircraft Corp. will occupy two hangars at Max Westheimer Airport on OU’s north campus and will expand one of those hangars by an additional 50,000 to 70,000 square feet.

Commander will bring an estimated 75 to100 jobs to Norman by its third year of operations.

Max Westheimer Airport will serve as Commander’s service and manufacturing headquarter operations.

“Aerospace is thriving in our state, and Commander’s decision to come back to Oklahoma underscores our reputation for being the best place in the U.S. to do business,” Fallin said. “We are a state that celebrates our new businesses, and we understand the importance of encouraging and supporting our existing businesses.

“Additionally, Commander Aircraft provides an opportunity to Oklahomans to stay in their community, work for a company that has solid roots in our state and earn an excellent wage.”

The announcement follows a nine-month search in four states for the best hangar location. After the company eliminated all states except Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce led a statewide competitive site search, and Norman was selected as the location of choice.

State leadership has pursued development of the aerospace industry in Oklahoma. Tinker Air Force Base in Del City, American Airlines in Tulsa and the Federal Aviation Agency Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center contribute to Oklahoma aerospace and make the state a prime growth area for the industry. Bureau of Labor statistics have ranked Oklahoma in the top 10 for aerospace growth in recent years.

“Commander Aircraft’s selection of Norman illustrates our community as progressive, innovative and a place to succeed,” said Don M. Wood, executive director of Norman’s Economic Development Coalition. “We look forward to working with Commander Aircraft as they expand their operations throughout the coming years.

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