American Airlines will invest $550 million to expand its Base Maintenance facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Tech Ops Tulsa is American’s largest Base Maintenance facility and is an integral part of operating the carrier’s fleet of nearly 1,000 mainline aircraft. Tulsa is home to more than 5,500 team members, 600 of which were added in 2019, and conducts nearly half of the airline’s overall maintenance work.
According to airline officials, the new project includes construction of a new widebody-capable hangar and base support building. The investment also provides for improvements to the existing infrastructure, including roof replacements, utility and IT upgrades, and ramp repairs. This is the largest investment ever made at a maintenance location in American’s history.
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 fully accommodate the size of American’s current aircraft. This will allow team members 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. This investment underscores American’s long-term commitment to the Tech Ops – Tulsa team, State of Oklahoma and City of Tulsa by making improvements to ensure success, officials said.
The $550 million investment will take approximately seven years to complete and will involve upgrades to nearly every building. The new hangar and base support building construction is expected to begin in early 2021 and will take approximately 18 months to complete.
“The American team in Tulsa and around the world is the best in the business when it comes to operating the safest and most reliable fleet of commercial aircraft,” said American’s Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “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.”
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. It is a hub for American’s Base Maintenance system, which also includes key maintenance hangars at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport. American performs more maintenance work in-house than any other airline, due in part to its strong maintenance system infrastructure.
“With this historic investment, American Airlines continues to display their commitment to Oklahoma. As one of the largest employers in our state, American Airlines plays an integral role in our economy and provides quality jobs for our citizens,” Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said.
“If there were any doubts about American's long-term commitment to Tulsa, this transformative investment should put them to rest once and for all,” Tulsa Regional Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal said. “Through the Chamber-led regional economic development partnership Tulsa’s Future, and in collaboration with the City of Tulsa and State of Oklahoma, we’ve been able to support American’s continued growth in northeast Oklahoma. It’s been a personal privilege to work with American’s leadership team and Tulsa-area employees for more than 14 years, and we at the Chamber look forward to further strengthening this partnership for decades to come.”