Formation of Trust
The Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust (Trust) completed a reorganization effort in January 2014, in coordination with the City of Tulsa, that transferred 150 City of Tulsa employees working at the airport to the Trust, and had the Trust assume all financial, human resources, and information technology services from the City. The Trust and the City approved a new lease agreement effective January 1, 2014 that facilitated the changes, which were anticipated to save money, provide more flexibility, and make the airport more competitive. The Trust operates and maintains Tulsa International and R.L. Jones, Jr./Riverside Airport for the City of Tulsa.
The Director of Airports, Jeff Mulder said, “Over the last few years the air service marketplace has become much more competitive. These changes will help us to be more efficient and responsive to the marketplace and help to attract and retain air service for Tulsa.” The Trust began discussing the move with the City in November 2011. The process required the participation of many entities, including the City of Tulsa, State of Oklahoma, airport tenants, the Airline Airport Affairs Committee, airport staff, and the leadership of the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust. Mary Smith, Chair of the Trust, praised Mayor Bartlett and all of the organizations involved in the process for their assistance in the reorganization effort. Smith said, “The new lease structure competitively positions our airports for new opportunities, allowing us to continue to develop our region’s air transportation network and support the growth of Tulsa and northeast Oklahoma.” Mayor Bartlett said, “Tulsa International Airport and R.L. Jones Riverside Airport are important assets for the City of Tulsa, and my Administration has always looked for continuous improvement in managing the assets and services for our community. These changes will help the Airports face the challenges of the changing aviation marketplace, and keep us competitive for air service and our aerospace community.”
About Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust (TAIT): TAIT was organized in 1967 as a public trust with the City of Tulsa as its sole beneficiary. TAIT’s purpose is to operate, maintain, construct, improve and/or lease airport facilities serving the City and to incur indebtedness as may be necessary to provide such facilities. Any indebtedness is payable solely from revenues of TAIT, as it has no authority to levy taxes. Under federal guidelines, all revenues generated by the airports must be used for airport purposes. The Airport receives no city, state or sales tax dollars.