Port of Muskogee's Industrial Development Office plans to invest in the aviation and aerospace industry. 

Industrial Development Director Marie Synar said a tax incentive offered by the state generated "an increased number of leads for both the state and Muskogee." She said Skydweller Aero Inc. identified Muskogee as a "finalist community" before selecting Ardmore as its site to build and test drones and Oklahoma City for the location of its headquarters.

"As we get more leads and get further along in the due diligence process with these prospects it is important for us to have adequate information to be able to respond to some of these inquiries," Synar said. "We learned as a result of this pandemic that companies are more reluctant to do on-site visits but are still making decisions."

Synar persuaded the Muskogee City-County Port Authority to invest in the production of video materials to help recruit aviation and aerospace companies. The industry is reported to be the state's second largest, with an economic impact of about $44 billion annually. 

The marketing recruitment video is expected to highlight the port's proximity to Muskogee-Davis Regional Airport and the infrastructure available to local industry. Synar said the completion of the airport's master development plan, a project approved in July 2019 by city councilors and expected to be completed by year's end, will complement these promotional efforts. 

Airport Manager Drew Saffell told city councilors then the completion of a master development plan would be "essential if we ever want to market the land out there at the airport." Voters approved funding for that component in 2019 as part of the city's capital improvement projects sales tax package.

The port and the city will share the $10,500 cost of the recruitment video. 

"It has reached the point now where ... we need to develop an aviation-specific video presentation that can be shared with these types of prospects," Synar said. "It is important that we are prepared to have as much virtual material to share with these companies as we can."

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