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Tulsa's 3rd Penny Sales Tax- Airport

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Tulsa's 3rd penny sales tax vote Tuesday has $459-million on one question and just over $4-million on another. It was divided up so voters could make the issue separately - of building hangar space to help out American Airlines.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says more than 7,000 people work for American Airlines. They already have huge hangars at Tulsa International Airport, but the airline says with more space it could do more work - and possibly even add some jobs.

If the third penny airport question passes - the city would build new hangar space and rent it to the airline.

American Airlines uses the Tulsa maintenance base to overhaul many of the mid sized planes in its fleet. Many other airlines are hiring out this kind of work and American wants to do it.

Tulsa's workforce could handle the job, according to the airline, but there's not enough hangar space for the planes. The airport says it's a chronic problem, and not just for American.

With money from the third penny, the city would build two new hangars, then lease them to American. The airline would then be able to pursue outside work that would help maintain the size of it's Tulsa workforce.

An American Airlines' spokesman says the efficiency of the Tulsa base makes it possible to bring in more work.

The airline says two years ago the overhaul of an MD-80 took 19 days - now it just takes 12. With the extra 7 days, American can do work for other airlines.

The two hangars would cost $4.3-million and be as big as the hangars American has now. The company says it wouldn't change the kind of work done in Tulsa, just the capacity of the base to do more.

And Tulsa International Airport officials say if American didn't need the space, it's a sure bet someone else would.

Polling places in Tulsa are open Tuesday, 7 AM until 7 PM.
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