TULSA — The City of Tulsa unveiled upgraded facilities at the American Airlines Maintenance Facility Wednesday morning.
Vision 2020 tax money provided the $2.3 million need for a new tail slot on a hangar door.
American Airlines facilities in Tulsa are from the World War II-era. The hangar doors they drive planes through are tall enough to fit the aircraft they use now, but those are retiring this year.
The planes they will be replaced by, the Boeing 737 and Aircraft A 319, are taller and would not fit inside. Adding the tail slot, essentially a garage door above the current hangar doors, allows the taller tails to pass through.
"It took a facility that was really going to become unusable to us and allows us to use it 365 days a year," Craig Barton, Vice President of Technical Services for American Airlines, said.
Mayor G.T. Bynum says construction started in July and cost $2.3 million. The change will allow the airline to service larger aircraft in the future.
Vision 2020 funds have allowed this Airbus A319 plane to get into this hangar at the American Airlines Maintenance Facility for the first time ever. Notice the gray garage door in the top left. Taxpayers money funded the installation of the tail slot that allows the plane to fit. pic.twitter.com/9lebgRJrjt
— Mycah Hatfield KJRH (@MycahHatfield) January 9, 2019
"You already see the commitment by American Airlines to bring work here to Tulsa if the facilities are there for their employees to utilize,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said.
The goal is to keep Tulsa an integral part of American Airlines operations so the company stays in Tulsa for several more decades. It is the largest commercial maintenance base for aviation in the world and employs more than 5,000 Oklahomans.
"The City of Tulsa being such a great partner ensures that we keep our eyes focused here in Tulsa," Barton said.
Mayor Bynum said this is the first of many Vision 2020 projects that citizens will see come to fruition in the near future. He said in the years past they have been in the planning and design phases.
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