After years of planning and months of construction, ARINC is operating from its new 51,000-square-foot hangar east of Will Rogers World Airport.
The additional space will allow the Maryland-based aviation company to modify larger aircraft - and bring more jobs to the state.
ARINC brought its aircraft maintenance and modification skills to the Oklahoma market in 1992. Over the years, the company has grown from three employees to more than 300 working on multimillion-dollar contracts for aircraft such as the KC-10.
The company began to see the need for a larger hangar several years ago, said Michael Young, vice president of aerospace systems engineering support. The initial concept for the new hangar arose six years ago, and after nine months of construction, a decade-long goal was finally accomplished when ARINC moved into its new hangar last fall.
With more space, ARINC is positioned to go after contracts on larger airplanes, planes that would not fit into the company's previous hangar at Sundance Airpark.
"In the past, we had to do modifications at the customer's site," Young said. "Now we can do all of the modifications at our facility."
"They can handle anything that flies," he said. "They do everything first-class."
Gardner-Tanenbaum built the hangar, which has a 108-foot clear height. Tanenbaum said building a structure that large required the firm to factor in various elements from wind to coordinating with the airport to make sure there were enough underground utilities to support the fire suppression system. The hangar was not too much of challenge for Tanenbaum though, who said he expects ARINC will eventually need another hangar and his company is ready for the project.
Young said if business justifies another hangar, ARINC will build adjacent to the new location.
"It is our goal to continue growing," Young said. "The expansion has already started."
ARINC has added 10 employees since January.
"We anticipate over the next two years we are going to hire in the upwards of 100 people," he said.
Not all new jobs will go to the hangar. The hangar has 20,000 square feet of office space and about 50 employees.
ARINC has locations in southeast Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
Mark Kranenburg, director of Will Rogers World Airport, said he hopes the hangar is the beginning of more developments on the land surrounding the airport.
The airport has nearly 2,000 acres available for development and is about to embark on a land development project that will analyze uses for the property.
"We think the time is right in Oklahoma City for development," Kranenburg said. "We are just trying to get the mechanisms and planning in place."
He said although the land will be mixed-use, open to various industries, aviation will be the focus.
"We can't forget that we are here for aviation," he said.
Young said ARINC is happy with its choice of locating near Will Rogers.
He said the central location and access to long runways add to the features the hangar can offer customers.
"It will help us grow in the future," Young said.
Location: 6015 S Portland Ave.
Square feet: 51,000 square feet of hangar space; 20,000 square feet of office space
Number of employees at hangar: 50
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