Completed Vision Tulsa Project Expands American Airlines Maintenance Capabilities

Jan 9, 2019

City of Tulsa and American Airlines officials held a ribbon cutting Wednesday to celebrate the completion of a new tail slot at a Tulsa maintenance base hangar.
Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

City of Tulsa and American Airlines officials marked the completion Wednesday of a Vision Tulsa–funded project.

AA Vice President of Technical Services Craig Barton said it doesn’t sound like much, but there’s a new tail slot for hangar doors at the Tulsa maintenance base.

"It took a World War II hangar that really only fit … the MD80, which retires this year, and made it capable of holding airplanes like the Boeing 737, the Airbus A319 and 320 family, and the airplanes that we fly today," Barton said.

AA Managing Director of Base Maintenance Erik Olund said it will allow Tulsa to handle scheduled work on those new planes, which are larger than those being phased out.

"If we wouldn’t have done this, it probably would have resulted in us looking for alternative locations to do the work. We are versatile around the world where we’ve got ability to do work, but most importantly, I tell you it probably wouldn’t have been done in Tulsa," Olund said.

The project retrofitted an existing hangar at the maintenance base by moving overhead pipes and structural supports. Olund said the hangar has mostly been used for storage the past three years.

"We’ve done really, really good things with the city where we’ve used the assets we have in the other hangar locations. So, [don’t] want to make it as though we wouldn’t have had that going for us, but this certainly provides us flexibility and an open door for us to look at other opportunities going forward," Olund said.

The project cost $2.3 million dollars. The more than $884 million dollar Vision Tulsa package included $27.3 million for airport infrastructure.