Taking care of the KC-46A tanker at Tinker Air Force Base is expected to boost Oklahoma's economyPublished: Sunday, October 22, 2017 By: Jack Money Source: NewsOK
It is easy to understand why Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County chipped in millions of dollars in early 2015 to help the U.S. Air Force acquire land it needs to maintain its newest aerial refueling tanker.
An economic impact report put together to justify spending $48 million to buy a 158-acre parcel for the KC-46A maintenance campus estimates the project will have an economic impact of nearly $1 billion during the first decade it operates.
Data provided by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber predicts the complex will add about 1,350 new jobs to Tinker Air Force Base's workforce.
It predicts those jobs will have an average annual salary of $62,000 and create an annual payroll of more than $82 million, once it's fully operational.
But that all remains in the future.
For now, the main tasks at hand are to get the maintenance campus for the KC-46A Pegasus built and to get the first group of 18 tankers delivered to the Air Force next year.
Boeing continues to put the aircraft through mandated tests and other evaluations as it works toward meeting its deadline. The Air Force has committed to buying 179 of the planes, so far.
Contractors, meanwhile, are on the ground in Oklahoma City and are working to build a needed taxiway, parking apron and hangars for the aircraft at the base.