Southwest Airlines officially ended a new maintenance facility at William P Hobby International Airport on 8 January 2020.

    The 37,161m² maintenance complex, now the largest in the airline’s network, includes offices, training facilities, warehouse space, and a 13,000m² hangar.

    This allows for the nearly 400 Houston-based technical operations employees to work simultaneously on up to six 737 aircraft indoors and has space for an additional eight aircraft outside the hangar bays.

    It replaces Southwest’s smaller technical operations facility at Hobby Airport, which opened in 1988.

    “This state-of-the-art hangar will support our technical operations team’s unwavering commitment to safety and maintaining our fleet to the highest standards,” said Southwest Airlines chairman and CEO, Gary Kelly.

    “I’m very proud of our hundreds of technical operations employees in Houston for the work they do every day to support our growing operation from Houston’s Hobby Airport, which includes almost 200 departures per day during peak seasons to nearly 70 destinations across the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.”

    “We thank Southwest Airlines for its nearly 50-year partnership and commitment to the Houston community,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “Between the direct employment of 5,000 local residents, continued growth in flight activity, and this investment in infrastructure, the airline represents $3 billion in economic impact for Houston each year, and that’s something that makes us proud and thankful.”

    The airline is currently investing in aircraft maintenance buildouts at Baltimore/Washington International Airport and Denver International Airport, as well as an expansion of its maintenance facility at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport.

    Including the projects in Denver and Baltimore, the airline expects to have eight maintenance hangars throughout the United States.

    President of McCarthy Building Companies’ Houston division, Jim Stevenson, said: “We are proud of our partnership with Southwest and pleased to be part of this important maintenance hangar project that will have such a high impact on its operations.”

    The airline is currently investing in aircraft maintenance build-outs at Baltimore/Washington International Airport and Denver International Airport, as well as an expansion of its maintenance facility at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport.

    Including the projects in Denver and Baltimore, the airline expects to have eight maintenance hangars throughout the United States.