United Airlines broke ground today on a nearly $45 million widebody hangar at Washington Dulles Airport to support its growing international route network.
The Star Alliance carrier expects the facility to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2013.
The 125,000 square ft (11,612 sq m) facility will include hangar space to fit two widebody aircraft simultaneously--one as large as the Airbus A350 and room for an additional aircraft the size of a Boeing 767-300.
The hangar's aircraft maintenance capabilities will include lighter service checks and more intensive phase checks, says Greg Hart, United's senior vice-president technical operations. Capabilities will not focus on long-term heavy maintenance visits that span several weeks, such as D checks, Hart says.
The facility will also have some component work capabilities, Hart says. The plan for the facility shows room for backshops to house avionics, sheet metal and machining capabilities.
The Dulles hangar will be United's first at the airport. It also has maintenance facilities in Chicago, Denver, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The airline is also constructing a widebody hangar at Newark.
United employs about 300 maintenance technicians at Dulles. The company says there will be some employment growth expected to staff the new hangar, however the total number of workers that will be needed is unclear.
United sees Dulles as its main hub for flights to the Middle East. From the airport, the carrier flies to Bahrain, Doha, Kuwait and Dubai.
The carrier plans to add service to San Salvador and Ft. Lauderdale from Dulles by the year's end and will start flights to Fayetteville, North Carolina by early 2013.