April 28, 2014
NORMAN — Today Governor Mary Fallin, joined by officials from the University of Oklahoma, Norman Economic Development Coalition and Oklahoma Department of Commerce announced the selection of Norman and Max Westheimer Airport at the University of Oklahoma for the establishment of Commander Aircraft Corporation’s service and manufacturing headquarter operations.
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. Commander is estimating 75 to100 jobs will be created by the company’s third year of operations. The company will occupy two hangars at Max Westheimer Airport on OU’s north campus and will expand one of them by an additional 50,000 to 70,000 square feet.
“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,” said Gov. Fallin. “We are a state that celebrates our new businesses, and we understand the importance of encouraging and supporting our existing businesses. Today’s announcement will mean more jobs and opportunities for Oklahomans in an industry that offers good, high paying jobs.”
Ms. Borui Mao, General Manager of Commander Aircraft said, “Commander Aircraft was born in Oklahoma, and our focus has always been to get back to the state where Commander was well known and respected. We are pleased to team up with the University of Oklahoma and look forward to manufacturing our airplane in Norman.”
“The University of Oklahoma welcomes Commander Aircraft to our Westheimer Airport,” said OU President David L. Boren. “With our Research Campus on the south as well as our campus on the north, OU serves as an economic engine to grow the state’s economy. Development in and around our airport increases economic opportunities for the entire state by attracting businesses and creating high-paying jobs.
“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. Commander will be doing business globally as well as domestically, and having them in Norman presents opportunities to attract other global companies to our city.”