The city of Skiatook, much of which lies within Osage County, recently received word it had been selected for a Federal Aviation Administration grant in the amount of $247,500. The money is to be spent on the installation of taxiway lighting.

Skiatook City Manager Dan Yancey said the taxiway lighting project is part of the city’s five-year capital plan for its airport.

“Approximately two years ago the city installed new LED runway lights and as a follow-up to those improvements the taxiway lights are next on the list,” Yancey told the Journal-Capital. “In addition the city installed new 6-foot perimeter fencing around the airport for added security.”

Yancey said the taxiway lighting project fits into an ongoing sequence of anticipated improvements for the Skiatook airport.

“In the next year or so the city has slated to reconstruct the entire runway, and once that is complete we likely will make improvements to the airport terminal as well as add more hangar space to the airport,” Yancey said. “All in all, improvements will be in excess of $3 million spent in 9 years, of which most is funded by the FAA.”

The grant for Skiatook was just one of a number of FAA grants announced to benefit airports in Oklahoma communities. Other communities in this part of the state receiving grant funds included Sand Springs, Cushing, Guthrie and Fairview.

U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., welcomed the announcement of the grant awards.

“Airports are a valuable component of our nation’s transportation infrastructure and serve as an important economic development tool,” Lucas said in a news release. “These projects will further impact the economic successes in the Third District while also increasing the safety and emergency response capabilities of our communities.”

Skiatook, which has a growing population of nearly 8,000 people, has become an important economic growth center for Osage County.