Tinker Air Force Base (AFB), located in the southeast Oklahoma City metropolitan area, is the headquarters for the Air Force Materiel Command Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, which is the worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft, engines, missiles, software, and avionics and accessories components. It is one of three Air Force Air Logistics Centers, with the other two located at Hill AFB, Utah, and Robins AFB, Georgia. Tinker AFB, with approximately 27,000 military and civilian employees, is the largest single-site employer in Oklahoma. The installation has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $3.4 billion, creating an estimated 30,865 secondary jobs. Tinker AFB comprises 4,048 acres, leases 810 acres, and has 642 acres of easements.
The host unit at Tinker is the 72nd Air Base Wing, which provides services and support for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center and its tenant organizations. Tinker also is home to the U.S. Navy's Strategic Communications Wing One. This is a shore-based Navy Air Wing consisting of three squadrons and a wing staff that is fully integrated into the Air Force Base, and employs more than 1,300 active-duty sailors and 100 contractors who provide maintenance, security, operations, administration, training and logistic support for the Navy's E-6B Mercury aircraft fleet. The Mercury aircraft enables the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense to directly contact submarines, bombers, and missile silos enforcing the country's national security through nuclear deterrence.
The Air Force nominated Tinker AFB as a candidate for the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) program in September 2005 due to incompatible development in the Accident Potential Zones (APZs), the need to define low density development within the APZs, and inconsistent zoning regulations among the jurisdictions adjacent to the installation.
The study was designed to promote community growth and development that is compatible with Tinker’s training and operational missions. The two primary goals of the JLUS are to protect the health, safety and welfare of citizens living and working near Tinker AFB and to protect the military operational and training missions. These goals can be accomplished through improved understanding of the flight and other operations at the base and through improved local land use and airspace planning. The JLUS planning process resulted in recommendations for changes to regulatory and non-regulatory policies regarding compatible land uses and airspace capacity around Tinker, allowing the community to better address compatible use concerns. The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) and the regional Metropolitan Planning Organizational (MPO) for the region served as the JLUS project sponsor on behalf of the jurisdictions surrounding Tinker AFB, including Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Del City, Choctaw, Nicoma Park, Spencer, and Oklahoma and Cleveland Counties. The JLUS was completed in 2008.
The JLUS included an analysis of local development codes, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, and building code requirements with specific actions recommended to improve land use compatibility near the base. JLUS recommendations include adoption of consistent development regulations among surrounding jurisdictions, land acquisitions within APZ 1, transfer of development rights, real estate disclosure, management of bird population in landfill siting and wetlands management, evaluation of the Douglas Avenue road closure, communication strategies, and an update to local jurisdictions’ comprehensive plan and zoning maps to identify noise contour, Clear Zone, APZ 1, and APZ 2 boundaries.