TULSA, Okla. — American Airlines making a $550 million investment in Tulsa is giving hope to those who are next in line to work in the aviation industry.
Austin Jensen and Jose Ramirez both graduate Tulsa Tech in 2021, and are working toward their airframe and powerplant (A&E) license. They both have their feet in the door at American Airlines as airplane cleaners, and are looking forward to moving up once they graduate.
"They don't hire people in from the street to be a mechanic, you have to hire in as a cleaner, or an overhaul shop mechanic, so you get hired for something like that and as you go on you can upgrade to become a mechanic," Jensen said.
American Airlines' investment only gives them greater hope for a long career in the aviation industry.
"I think job security first and foremost, and it's going to get people excited to want to stay here in Tulsa and want to work here," Jensen said. "My entire life is here. All my friends are here, my family's here, so to not have to think about the possibility of having to move far away and be able to stay right here in Tulsa and do this as a job and get to work on some of the best aircraft in the world, it's pretty awesome."
Ramirez moved into the Tulsa family, marrying a native Tulsan and laying his roots in the city. He is now excited by the potential of staying settled in one place.
"I think it's amazing and definitely job security for people who have been there, and for new people who want to join aviation or get their A&P license," Ramirez said. "There's a lot of opportunity for people."
About half of the $550 million investment will go toward a new wide-body hangar and a base support building. The other half is going to upgrades on the entire facility.
The new hangar will replace two existing ones, and will be 193 thousand square feet. The base support building will be 132 thousand square feet.
The investment will take nearly seven years to complete, and construction on the new buildings is expected to begin in early 2021. Construction is estimated to take 18 months to complete.
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