Airport Dedication Part: 1 of 1
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By Mac McGalliard
The way it turned out, Ardmore officials could hardly have
picked a worse day than last Saturday for dedication of the new
Downtown Ardmore Airport, out on Lake Murray Drive in edge
of the big park.
Of course, officials of the city and the'senior and junior cham-
bers of commerce who joined in sponsoring the activities and
ceremonies, didn’t know this when they set the date quite a
You have to start somewhere on these things and start finding
out when the top officials from other places can be available. Of-
ficials on state and national levels, and in this instance some im-
portant local officials as well,’?'-------------------------------------
have so many things to do and
to attend it is always a problem
to get very many of them to-
gether at the same time.
Well, of course, the sponsors
couldn’t know the weather
would be stormy and rainy,
but Bill Schulte, assistant ad-
ministrator of the Federal Avi-
ation who was here from Wash-
ington attends more airport
functions all over the country
than we ever hear about, said
that kind of weather is typical.
It wasn’t only that the bad
weather was a threat to visitors
and spectators and to the dig-
nitaries who were in the open
during the ceremonies and the
visiting with the people, but it
was a handicap to the flyins of
military and civilian aircraft,
to flyovers during the cerem-
onies, and to outside displays
Another big handicap for that
particular date was that it also
was national Armed Forces
Day and the military and ci-
vilian aircraft people and big
politicians were already tied up
elsewhere. The way I under-
stand it, though, May 8 was
selected primarily because Sen-
ator Mike Monronery could be
here and he was the number
1 man to take part and to be
And if the weather and Armed
Forces Day were not enough
handicap, the state Supreme
Court justice impeachment trial
at Oklahoma City had Senator
Ernest Martin and Rep. Burke
Mordy tied up so they couldn’t
be here. Only Rep. Bill Bradley
of our main three state legis-
lators could be here.
But, anyway, they got the new
airport officially dedicated and
pointed toward the future. Be-
sides Schulte, a number of of-
ficials of the FAA made it, in-
cluding W. O. Karpenko, Okla-
homa City, who was the main
FAA man involved in building
of the airport.
Charles Monroe, director and
chairman of the Planning and
Resources Board, was on hand
and apparently very fond of the
project. The P&R Board are
joint sponsors with the City of
Ardmore since the airport is
located mostly on Lake Mur-
ray Park land, and the city
is designated as operator of
John Sauerwein was here and
was appropriately recognized
for his big part in success of
the project. John helped get it
done as manager of Ardmore
Chamber of Commerce before
he was promoted to director
of the industrial department of
the state Department of Com-
merce and Industry in fitting
recognition and use of his indus-
trial promotion abilities.
Well, there were too many big
officials and boosters around to
mention them all, including all
the city commissioners and
main officials, chamber of com.
merce people and the Jaycees
and Civil Air Patrol and the
city airportz and airpark com-
The pointing of the new air-
port toward the future, as I
mentioned above, consisted of
recognition that new terminal
facilities are already under con-
struction by Mac McCulloh,
lessee, and these facilities will
be ready for use as quickly as
they can be built.
Then there was talk of the
need for extending of the 3,000
foot runway to 5,000 feet as
soon as possible so as to handle
larger planes. The present run-
way isn’t long enough for all
the planes already in use by
some local businesses and indus.
tries, and there will be more
of the larger planes needing to
use the airport in the future.
The big officials, such as Sen.
Monroney and the FAA people,
saw the need first hand for a
longer runway, and this surely
will help in getting it done.
Everyone agreed the new air.
port, located only about five
minutes from Downtown Ard-
more, will be of great benefit
and help to boost industrial and
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Reference the current part of this Clipping.
McGalliard, William A. Airport Dedication, clipping, May 10, 1965; (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc1628009/m1/1/: accessed May 18, 2021), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Ardmore Public Library.