Speaking at a transportation seminar hosted by the University of North Texas, Hillwood’s president of Alliance Airport Tom Harris said his company is close to entering into an agreement with the city to manage, maintain and market the 1.8 million-square-foot facility.
“We believe there are some capacity constraints in the system that will allow us to quickly lease that hangar,” Harris said, adding that there could be multiple tenants using various buildings in the maintenance base.
The maintenance hangar has been vacant since early 2013 when American decided to shutter the facility and shift work to third-party vendors as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. The Fort Worth-based carrier had announced in August had reached a lease transfer agreement with a third-party, AFW Solutions, but that has apparently fell through.
Harris said the city approached Hillwood about trying to find new tenants for the facility after American and the city decided that the airline will terminate its lease. A bankruptcy hearing is scheduled for June 24 to discuss the Alliance facility lease.
The facility first opened in 1991 with an iconic suspended roof that has no fixed columns holding it up. With its cantilever design, seven wide-body planes standing wingtip to wingtip can fit inside the hangar’s docks.
American’s initial lease was to run until August 2028 with lease extension options until 2089. The carrier pays a base rent of $100 per year but is also obligated to pay additional charges and expenses for the facility estimated at $7 million annually.
The carrier continues to use an engine overhaul facility at Alliance that it operates with Rolls-Royce.