To the editor:
In the oil and gas industry, providing fast and effective service is essential. I am the owner of Morgan Well Service, based in Prague, Oklahoma. We are a family run business that has been in operation for 53 years, and we provide well service rigs to oil and gas wells across Oklahoma and in areas of Texas. When we need to reach our clients at a moment’s notice, the use of our own aircraft is critical.
I have been around aviation for most of my life. My father was a pilot and inspired me at a young age to take an interest in flying. Aviation has also been a key tool since we founded our business and it continues to be a valuable asset for my company. Through the use of our plane, my employees and I are able to quickly reach job sites and respond to any issues, transport specialized equipment and conduct many client meetings in different locations easily.
On occasions, when I have had to make repairs to my equipment quickly, my plane allows my staff and me to respond in real time. In one instance, the plane allowed us to reach a disabled rig quickly and ensure that it was only down for an hour instead of 7-8 hours. Well downtime significantly reduces efficiency in the oil and gas production process, impacting multiple businesses on the job site. When equipment is damaged or in need of repair it prevents my clients from staying on schedule, costs money and wastes valuable man-hours. Through the use of general aviation we can help ensure that deadlines are met and the operations run smoothly.
The plane also provides my company with the flexibility to take on more jobs than we could otherwise. As someone who lives in a small community of roughly 2,100 people, I have seen firsthand just how important an aircraft is to helping us serve smaller rural communities outside of metropolitan areas. In addition, this form of transportation is a lifeline to communities like mine, supporting agriculture, blood and organ transport, disaster relief, fire fighting and many other critical services.
Sadly, there are many people that do not realize just how fundamentally important general aviation is. Many on Capitol Hill have recently proposed taking away Congressional oversight and instituting user fees, which have been pushed by big commercial airline interests. This would, unfortunately, place a huge burden on the numerous small businesses, farms and organizations that rely on general aviation, not to mention, decimating these groups with administrative burden.
The good news is that many of our elected officials recognize the importance of general aviation. Gov. Mary Fallin declared March 2015 “Aviation Appreciation Month,” and many of our elected officials are members of the General Aviation Caucus in the House and Senate. As a former state representative I am thrilled to see this kind of support for the resources that make Oklahoma communities strong. I hope we can continue to recognize the numerous benefits that general aviation offers to our state and country.