SkyWest Moves into State-of-the-Art Hangar

Jun. 29--SkyWest Airlines has moved into its $20 million, state-of-art maintenance hangar on the west side of the Colorado Springs Airport.

The Utah-based regional carrier handles maintenance for up to 10 regional jets each night at the hangar with its staff of 80, said Marissa Snow, a SkyWest spokeswoman. Each aircraft must undergo overnight maintenance every five days.

Snow said SkyWest sends aircraft to the Springs for maintenance both on flights to the Springs its operates for Delta, Midwest and United and on flights without passengers that transport the aircraft here.

The 124,000-square-foot hangar at 1697 Aviation Way is more than five times the size of the hangar SkyWest has been leasing for three years from the airport. SkyWest's former hangar will be leased to Colorado jetCenter, which services privately owned aircraft.

"We are excited about our new facility. It is state-of-the-art and large enough to fit our needs," Snow said. "Colorado Springs is well-located geographically among our hubs in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City and San Francisco to do this work."

The carrier is still recruiting additional staff for the hangar and previously has said the new hangar could eventually have 200 employees. Snow said she was not aware of plans to expand staff to 200 and could not confirm if those plans are still in place.

In Colorado Springs, SkyWest operates flights for Delta Air Lines and United Airlines and on Sunday will begin operating flights for Midwest Airlines. The company also operates a flight crew base in the Springs for about 200 pilots and flight attendants.

Overnight maintenance includes completing a checklist of several hundred items that involve mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems. The airline also does maintenance at the hangar on planes' engines and operating systems, which must be completed every six weeks.

SkyWest, the nation's largest regional carrier, operates a fleet of 210 regional jets ranging in size from 50 to 76 seats that are flown under contracts with Delta, Midwest and United. Plans for the hangar were first announced by SkyWest in 2004.

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