American Airlines makes final exit from Kansas City International Airport overhaul base
Kansas City Business Journal - by Krista Klaus
Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 12:16pm
American Airlines has completed its takeoff from the overhaul base at Kansas City International Airport.
In early December, the airline vacated the base’s dome-like “wide-body” hangars, the last of its occupied space. At its peak, American Airlines occupied more than 1.7 million square feet at the former Trans World Airlines maintenance facility. Several years ago, the base employed 1,000 workers; in the months before work ended there, it employed 450.
TWA operated the maintenance base from 1954 to 2001, when American Airlines purchased TWA and located its maintenance operations there.
Since October 2009, when American announced plans to vacate the overhaul base, the space has been divided for use by multiple tenants, including Frontier Airlines, Jet Midwest and Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corp.
The overhaul space reconfiguration is part of an economic development approach at KCI (Code: MCI) that blends aeronautical and non-aeronautical tenants and development. The effort includes the 800-acre KCI Intermodal BusinessCentre, a mixed-use development managed by Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co.
“Several years ago, the Aviation Department embarked on an ambitious plan to spur aviation- and non aviation-related development at KCI Airport to attract greater numbers of well-paying jobs to the area,” Mark VanLoh, director of the department, said in a statement. “As the KCI Overhaul Base is being reverted back to the city, we are committed to putting that space and Kansas Citians back to work.”
The base concluded aircraft maintenance work in late September, the last day of work for most employees. Some had stayed to prepare the facility to be turned over to the city.
About 200 of the 450 workers were expected to retire; others went to other locations for work or were laid off.
Airport officials estimate KCI contributes $5.5 billion to the area economy annually and provides more than 60,000 jobs.