At a ceremony today, America West Airlines
(NYSE: AWA) broke ground on a new $35-million, 164,000-square-foot flight
training center and systems operation control (SOC) facility on a 14-acre site
leased from the City of Phoenix. America West expects to occupy the facility
by late fall 2001.
“We are excited to begin construction on the new flight training and
systems operation center,” said William A. Franke, America West chairman and
chief executive officer. “The facility will include exciting new training
technologies and improve our ability to employ advanced automation in the
management of our growing flight operations. We look forward to our new
partnership with the City of Phoenix in the development of this project.”
“This flight center is a significant investment for America West in their
company and in our community,” said Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza. “These are
very good times for Phoenix, our economy and our hometown airline.”
The ceremony was attended by America West officers, employees, America
West union officials representing the work groups to be trained in the new
facility, City of Phoenix officials, community leaders and representatives of
Smith Group and Benham Group, the architects, and W.E. O`Neil, the general
contractor for the building.
Franke, acknowledging employees, said, “I`d like to thank the pilots,
flight attendants and SOC employees for their involvement in the design and
development of this facility. With their input this center creates a new and
exciting environment for on-going training and employee development.”
America West will invest approximately $35 million in design, development,
construction, equipment and related costs to complete the complex. The
facility is located in Phoenix at Sky Harbor Center on vacant land at the
northwest corner of the intersection of Buckeye Road and the Papago Freeway
(Interstate 10). The base term of the ground lease is 15 years and America
West will have options to extend that term for up to 10 years.
Approximately 300 America West personnel will work at the new flight
training facility and SOC, the nerve center for the airline`s flight
operations. The facility will accommodate introductory and recurrent training
for America West`s 1,800 pilots and 2,500 flight attendants.
The new center will consolidate the airline`s flight simulators and
training under one roof and incorporate technology and infrastructure for the
latest computerized training and flight-management tools. The facility will
provide training for flight and cabin crews for America West`s planned growth
up to a fleet of 180 aircraft. Options on adjacent land would allow expansion
of the facility to meet training requirements for a fleet of 300 aircraft.
America West retained Smith Group and Benham Group as design architects who
were assisted by the airline`s pilots, flight attendants and SOC employees in
completing the design.
America West Airlines, the nation`s ninth-largest carrier, serves
90 destinations with more than 890 daily departures in the U.S., Canada and
Mexico. Along with its codeshare partners, America West serves more than
105 destinations worldwide. America West Airlines is a wholly owned
subsidiary of America West Holdings Corporation, an aviation and travel
services company with 1999 sales of $2.2 billion.
This press release, as well as releases issued in the past year by America
West Holdings and its affiliates, can be accessed on the America West Internet
site at http://www.americawest.com.