The Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City has the largest concentration--5,500--of DOT employees outside of the Washington DC area. The Center occupies 1,100 acres, more than 100 buildings and 3.3 million square feet of space.
So, a townhall meeting on the Center's campus is a bit of an undertaking.
But, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt and I did hold a session with several hundred employees. Others were able to tune in through some video monitors set up around the campus. The message Randy and I brought was simple: thanks for the hard work and dedication. We also reminded everyone that "Safety is our number one priority" at DOT and FAA.
We were there to learn about the facility's impressive scope--they handle everything from air traffic controller training to air safety research, and will even do some work on the financial end of our ambitious new CARS program.
Administrator Babbitt hopped into a Gulfstream 1000 simulator for a short flight. In case anyone doubts his skills, Randy is one former pilot who can still fly.
But the story of the day was not me or Randy, but the Monroney Center itself, its great facilities, its environmental achievements, and its fantastic employees. Oklahoma City really is an oasis for excellence!