Okla. airport rarely visited by planes to close despite federal funding

The windsock at Lake Murray State Park Airport in Ardmore, Okla. (Mei-Chun Jau/For The Washington Post)

An airport in Oklahoma that is almost never used by planes or passengers likely will be closed after the state’s aeronautics commission pulled its support for the complex late last week.

The six-member commission voted unanimously to close the Lake Murray State Park Airport in Ardmore, Okla., even though the airport receives $150,000 a year in federal funding under a grant program established 13 years ago. The state has largely redistributed the money to other airports with more activity.

Under terms of its deal with the Federal Aviation Commission, the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission is required to keep the Lake Murray airport open through 2027 or repay the federal grant money that was spent on the airport. The airport was the subject of a Washington Post story last month about the difficulty of ending federally funded programs even as Washington wrestles with $85 million in mandatory budget cuts this year.

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David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.


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