New American Airlines Hangar Helps Keep Jobs In Tulsa

Friday, September 25th 2009, 10:37 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- American Airlines shows off its newest addition to Tulsa International Airport -- a hangar. Supporters of the project say the hangar is huge for keeping jobs in Tulsa.

The hangar is nearly 80,000 square feet. It's large enough to fit wide-body aircraft like Boeing 767s and 787s. How about the hangar door opening? It spans 190 feet, which is a little more than half a football field.

A grand opening was held Friday. In 2003, it was just a grand dream.

"When we started out, there were so many people who said, ‘this can't be done. We can't raise the money to put a hangar this size over here on this side of the field,'" said Carmine Romano, American Airlines Vice President. "And I said, ‘well then you want to send work somewhere else and across the pond?'"

That dream is now a huge reality sitting at Tulsa International Airport's North Development area.

"So here we are six years later. This will support 100 direct jobs, but really supports American Airlines and the Aerospace footprint here in Tulsa," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

American Airlines will use the new hangar for heavy-duty maintenance on planes.

The project cost nearly $11 million to complete and the building is following the green trend.

"The light actually reflects off the floor and the ceilings have the panels that are light colored so you get that and then all the fans will keep the air circulating," said Carmine Romano.

City leaders and American Airlines emphasized that the hangar will allow the company to keep jobs in Tulsa.

"For me, this is initially the reason I ran for mayor, is to secure the American Airlines jobs. To make sure Tulsa was at the forefront in keeping jobs with its largest employer that pay over $52,000 average dollars a year. So this has been important to me and I'm happy I've been able to check it off," said Mayor Taylor.

"It's something that I look at that maybe will leave a mark for somebody else to have that incentive to work with people. I feel that when you work with people, you really have so much more power to get the job done," said Carmine Romano.