Weatherford's Tom Stafford Airport Celebrates Completion of Runway Extension Project
Weatherford native and former astronaut Tom Stafford joined several state and city officials as well as many well wishers in Weatherford on Oct. 14 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opened the new runway extension at the Thomas P. Stafford Airport.
"There was a lot of hard work that went into getting this project done, especially from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, but we finally did it," said Stafford.
Airport Manager John Creswell said the extension was another step for the airport.
"We are really excited about this extension and seeing larger aircraft flying in and out of Weatherford," Creswell said.
Aeronautics Commission Director commented that the runway extension project, which increased the runway length from 4,400 feet to 5,100 feet, would not have been possible without the support of the Federal Aviation Administration, which provided $1.9 million for the project. The Aeronautics Commission pumped in $821,000 toward the project, while the City of Weatherford contributed nearly $102,000 in local matching funds.
Just prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a Lear jet took off from the now 5,100 foot runway, an appropriate beginning to the informal ceremony that occurred just outside the terminal building on the tarmac.
The additional 700 feet of pavement will accommodate most corporate jets, which is an important tool for economic development efforts, officials said.
In addition to the runway extension, construction crews are currently working to widen the airport's parallel taxiway and extra 15 feet to meet FAA safety standards.
Retired Gen. Tom Stafford, center left, and Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission Director Victor Bird cut the ribbon that officially opened the new runway extension at Weatherford's airport on Friday, Oct. 14.