Fallin orders reduced plane usage

Governor Mary Fallin issued an executive order intended to reduce operating and maintenance costs associated with the state’s fleet of airplanes and helicopters.

Executive Order 2015-45  centralizes the custody and control of all state-owned air assets under Oklahoma’s public safety commissioner.

Agencies like the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation would retain ownership of their air assets; however, use of those air assets would be scheduled and coordinated by the public safety commissioner.

The executive order also requires the administrative head of every state agency, board or commission to give advance written notice to the director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) every time plans are made to purchase, lease, charter or rent private aircraft, regardless of whether the agency has independent statutory authority to do so.

In addition, the OMES director and the public safety commissioner are to develop a comprehensive management plan for state-owned aircraft, which includes the shared use of aircraft and the sale and disposal of aircraft that are no longer cost-efficient.

“Planes and other aircraft can play key roles in helping law enforcement track illegal activities and capture criminals as well as respond to natural disasters, such as tornadoes, floods and wildfires,” said Fallin. “However, they also have high operating and maintenance costs. This executive order will require agencies to do more to coordinate the use of aircraft, eliminate inefficiencies and save taxpayer dollars.”

The comprehensive management plan will include guidelines covering:

  • The shared use of aircraft owned by the state, with priorities for law enforcement and other public safety initiatives;
  • The sale and disposal of aircraft that are not adequately being used or that could be more economically replaced by rentals and charters, and;
  • The evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of renting or chartering aircraft.

The order requires that the comprehensive management plan be submitted to the governor within 120 days.