Cheyenne, OK – Today, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) applauded the Economic Development Administration’s announcement that the United States Department of Commerce is awarding $2.1 million to the Osage Nation to support the development of the Osage Nation’s Skyway36 airpark.
“I’m delighted to see the Economic Development Administration award the Osage Nation a $2.1 million grant supporting the development of the new Skyway36 airpark,” said Congressman Frank Lucas. “The investments and developments of the EDA and the Osage Nation will continue to spur innovation, STEM opportunities, and economic development throughout Oklahoma. The foundation of innovation requires investments in basic, early-stage research and next generation technologies and the Skyway36 Droneport & Technology Innovation Center will be a nucleus for UAS research and development and the tech startup space.”
The $2.1 million EDA grant will allow the Osage Nation to renovate and improve a building and an adjacent hangar at an existing airpark, located in Osage County, to aid the development of an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) research and development park.
“Osage Nation’s Skyway36 Airpark is a unique property that offers plenty of space for experimentation and development,” said Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear. “I’d like to thank our Osage Nation team, the EDA, INCOG, Oklahoma State University, and especially Congressman Lucas and his staff for getting us over the finish line on this grant. We will put this money, along with the $400,000 allocated by the Osage Nation Congress, to good use. We look forward to further development.”
“President Biden is committed to supporting new opportunities for economic development across the country,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “These EDA investments will provide the infrastructure necessary to support new opportunities for innovation, business growth, and workforce development in Oklahoma.”
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting locally-developed strategies designed to create economic opportunity,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “EDA is pleased to assist the Osage Nation in developing one of only three commercial drone ports in the country and Fab Lab Tulsa Inc., in training fabrication workers for good-paying jobs.”
“I appreciate the Economic Development Administration’s investment in Oklahoma’s economic future,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “These grants will help advance the commitment my administration has made to create jobs, improve infrastructure and development, and uplift our state’s economy.”
Lucas, in February of 2021, sent a letter to EDA Regional Director Jorge Ayala expressing his support for the funding of the Osage Nation’s Skyway36 Droneport & Technology Innovation Center.