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July 08, 2014

American breaks ground on new integrated operation center

American Airlines IOC 05In front of dozens of employees, American Airlines' executives and Fort Worth Mayor Price put shovels in the dirt to break ground on the carrier's new integrated operations center.

The center, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015, will house more than 1,400 employees who oversee the airline's flights and customers. It will be a two-story, 149,000-square-foot building and is designed to withstand an EF3 tornado.

The new IOC is located on 4700 American Blvd., just south of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, and adjacent to the carrier's flight academy and the C.R. Smith museum. The project will cost $88 million.

The building will be named after Robert Baker, American's vice chairman who retired in 2002 after working at the company for over 35 years and overseeing operations at the airline. Baker died a year after his retirement at the age of 58 from lung cancer.

American chief executive Doug Parker commended Baker's love of aviation and commitment to safety.

"He's a great example for all of us at the new American and that's why we're honored to name our new integrated operations center after Bob," Parker said.

The airline received a $6.5 million tax incentive deal from the city of Fort Worth that will last 15 years.

"It's an $88 million investment for us that continues to give and the job return, the construction, it's an investment in the future for American and indeed an investment for the city of Fort Worth," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.

Photo by Star-Telegram photographer Paul Moseley.

-Andrea Ahles

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