American Airlines employees in Tulsa celebrated the opening of a new hangar space Wednesday, modified to work with the airline's newest aircraft.
The Airbus 319 aircraft was too big to fit into the hanger, but a $2.7 million new roof and new doors mean that its tail can fit inside. More importantly, it means these planes can be maintained in Tulsa for a long time to come.
“With the Vision Tulsa sales tax, Tulsans are investing in their city for continued economic development through projects such as this tail slot at the American Airlines Tulsa Maintenance Base,” Mayor Bynum said. “This will ensure that maintenance work will stay in Tulsa when American Airlines brings larger, more fuel-efficient aircraft into its fleet. We are proud to continue our many decades of partnership between the City of Tulsa and American Airlines.”
City leaders and the airline cut the ribbon Wednesday on the improvement. The hangars are owned by the city. American rents the space and since they were built in World War II, they couldn't handle today's taller airplanes.
Taxpayers paid for the improvements, the last of 4 hangars modified like this to keep American's maintenance work in Tulsa. There are 5,600 Tulsans working at American now; 300 are trained to work on the Airbus 319, that the hangar was modified to fit.
Before that work, it was only being used for storage.