At its Wednesday, Oct. 14th meeting, the seven-member Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission accepted the retirement of long-time State Director of Aeronautics Victor Bird.
Bird leaves a long legacy of state policymaking with 36 years of public service to the State of Oklahoma. During his 18-year tenure with OAC, Bird’s emphasized promotion of the aerospace industry, one of the state’s largest industries and top employers; critical planning and development for the state’s air transportation system; upgrading as many of the state’s 49 regional business airports as possible to be jet-capable; and encouraging public-private partnerships to promote the aerospace industry. Under his leadership, the Commission has invested $71 million in state funds and directed $189 million in federal funds into airport infrastructure statewide.
“As Governor Stitt’s transportation secretary, I want to congratulate Vic on a lifetime of service to the State of Oklahoma and thank him for bringing a vision and energy to the Aeronautics Commission at a critical time in its history,” Secretary of Transportation Tim Gatz said. “Vic is a nationally respected leader in the aerospace sector and his expertise and advocacy have helped grow the industry and ensure that Oklahoma has a long-term plan for keeping our air transportation system safe and effective.”
Bird’s career in state government started in the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office under Mike Turpen in 1983. He subsequently served at Oklahoma State University, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and again in the Attorney General’s office under two different attorneys general. Bird earned his juris doctorate and bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa, leading to him to a career in law within the public sector. It was this legal background and his knowledge of state government that ultimately led him to the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission as Director in 2002. Although he was a newcomer to aviation