Kansas City’s Enormous Airline Overhaul Base Full Again | KCUR

Kansas City’s Enormous Airline Overhaul Base Full Again

Jan 31, 2014

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon spoke at the overhaul base Thursday.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

Kansas City can finally hang a “no vacancy” sign on one of its largest and most important industrial buildings.  

In its heyday some 6000 people worked in the TWA overhaul base at KCI. The place is massive, a million square feet, more room than all three terminals combined. When American Airlines pulled out a few years ago, the place was empty. Now, after an intensive marketing campaign Mark VanLoh, Kansas City’s Aviation director says, it’s just the reverse.

“Jet Midwest came to town, Smith Electric Vehicles came to town, Frontier Airlines, and Republic Airlines are all doing maintenance in that facility at night,” says VanLoh. “And now, with the arrival of ATS, it’s full.”

ATS, stands for Aviation Technical Services. The company does airplane maintenance for major airlines, including Southwest. It plans to bring on more than 500 people in the next few years.  

ATS President and CEO Matt Yerbic says a regional workforce with aviation experience, and the enormous building were the major draws.

“A business like ours needs to have hundreds of thousands of square feet, immediately. I think we start out there with almost 400,000 sq. feet of space. And just to give you a sense, that’s something like 12 acres,” says Yerbic. “We need to have that covered, we need to have that heated and lit.   So it’s very important,” he says.

ATS will begin moving some 30 semi loads of equipment into the old overhaul base next month.