American Airlines recently announced that it will invest $550 million at its maintenance facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The investment, which is the largest ever made at a maintenance location in the company’s history, will take approximately seven years to complete and will involve upgrades to nearly every building.
The Tulsa facility is American’s largest maintenance base and conducts nearly half of the airline’s overall maintenance work. It currently employs more than 5,500 people.
The new project will include construction of a widebody-capable hangar and base support building. The investment also provides for improvements to the existing infrastructure, including roof replacements, utility and information technology (IT) upgrades, and ramp repairs.
The new 193,000-square-foot hangar will be able to hold two widebody aircraft — or up to six narrowbody aircraft — and will replace two existing hangars that can no longer accommodate the size of American’s current aircraft. This will allow personnel to continue maintenance work on the more than 900 aircraft that visit the site annually while also adding to the widebody hangar capacity in American’s system.
The 132,000-square-foot base support building will include offices for teams in administrative functions for aircraft overhaul, engineering and more. Construction of the new hangar and base support building is expected to begin in early 2021 and will take approximately 18 months to complete.
The modernization plan is the latest step following a period of growth for the Tulsa base. American insourced CFM56-5B engine overhaul work there in 2018. A year later, American and the city of Tulsa invested in a new tail slot modification for Hangar 2D at the base to allow space for larger aircraft. The facility recently began maintenance work on the first scheduled line of Airbus A319 fleet as well as scheduled maintenance on the Boeing 787 fleet. Component repair work also was insourced to the base’s Wheel and Brake Center. To support the additional work, American has added more than 600 maintenance positions.
“Tulsa has been core to American’s operation for more than 70 years, and this investment in the base, along with the new positions we added at Tech Ops – Tulsa in 2019, will ensure our customers can continue to rely on our fleet as the safest and most reliable for decades to come,” said Doug Parker, American’s chairman and CEO.
Since 1946, American has maintained the world’s largest commercial aviation maintenance facility in Tulsa, when it moved its main maintenance base there from New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Today, Tech Ops – Tulsa is home to 22 buildings, including 3.3 million square feet of hangar and shop space positioned on 330 acres at Tulsa International Airport.
For more information, visit news.aa.com.