Southwest Airlines Celebrates Expanded Technical Operations Facility In Phoenix

Media Release

Southwest nearly doubles footprint of hangar and modernizes spaces where Technical Operations Employees maintain the carrier’s fleet

phoenix hangar opening

Southwest Airlines Celebrates Opening of Expanded Maintenance Hangar in Phoenix
(L-R: Landon Nitschke, SVP of Technical Operations; Andrew Watterson, COO; Mayor Kate Gallego, Phoenix; Kiani Mann, PHX-based Tech Ops Employee; Phoenix Councilmember Kesha Hodge Washington;  Chad Makosvky, Director of Aviation, City of Phoenix; Dennis Epstein, PHX-based Tech Ops Employee; Josh Smith, Sr. Manager of Maintenance- PHX; Don Roberts, Managing Director, Technical Operations; Steve Grauer, Regional Vice President, Hensel Phelps)

DALLASSouthwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) is celebrating the completion of a multi-year, $100 million project, which nearly doubles the size of the airline's maintenance hangar at Phoenix Sky Harbor. The 90,000-square foot expansion adds three new aircraft bays to the facility, allowing the airline to work on up to five aircraft simultaneously and brings more maintenance shops to support the nearly 500 Southwest® Technical Operations Employees based at Sky Harbor. The project also included a larger facility for members of the airline's Provisioning and Ground Support Equipment Maintenance Teams that opened in 2020.  

"The Safety-first work to support a continuous renewal of our fleet benefits our entire network and the community," said Andrew Watterson, Chief Operating Officer at Southwest Airlines. "Investing in our Arizona-based People by equipping them with the latest tools, enhanced processes, and functional spaces is one of the most impactful investments we can make at Southwest Airlines and our future in Phoenix."

The expanded hangar has also achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. The expansion incorporated sustainable design features including the use of recycled content in over 30% of the building materials; the installation of high-reflectance roof and surrounding paving materials to reduce heat island effect; and the selection of building products from manufacturers with verified environmental performance.

Southwest Airlines® first opened a Technical Operations base at Sky Harbor in 1986. In 1993, the airline moved into a new maintenance hangar facility to support its growth throughout the western half of the United States. Today, the carrier's Phoenix-based Technical Operations Teams accept new aircraft deliveries to prepare them to enter revenue service and maintain aircraft as part of daily and scheduled maintenance programs.

In addition to Phoenix, Southwest operates hangar facilities in Atlanta, Chicago (Midway), Dallas (Love Field), Denver, Houston (Hobby), and Orlando. Construction is underway on a new hangar facility at Baltimore/Washington International Airport, which is anticipated to open in 2025.

Decades-Long Partnership Leads to Runway for Future Success  

Southwest began serving Sky Harbor in January 1982 with 13 daily flights. Today, the carrier offers up to 220 departures a day, providing nonstop service to 60 destinations across the United States and Mexico1. In 2022, the airline expanded its operations to operate from 32 gates including a new eight-gate concourse built to support Southwest's growth. The concourse included a new baggage handling system, more concessions, and Employee-support spaces.

The airline's local workforce of more than 5,400 People share a passion for making the Phoenix area a great place to live, work, and visit. In 2023, Southwest Employees volunteered more than 10,000 hours while supporting more than 200 organizations focused on improving the quality of life for those who call Arizona home.

"We are grateful to Southwest Airlines for believing in Phoenix and going above and beyond to plant roots in our community, whether it's through expanded operations or countless volunteer hours with local organizations," said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. "Phoenix is proud to be a major service market for Southwest and we stand ready to continue welcoming millions more passengers to the Valley of the Sun!"

To download high-resolution images and broadcast-quality b-roll of Southwest's new Technical Operations facility, click here.

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Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world's most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline2. Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its nearly 75,0003 People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among more than 137 million Customers carried in 2023. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years4 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting As the airline with Heart, Southwest has set a goal to work toward achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Southwest has also set near-term targets and a three-pillar strategy to achieve its environmental goals. Learn more by visiting

  1. Based on flight scheduled published through Nov. 2, 2024, as of Feb. 16, 2024.
  2. Based on U.S. Dept. of Transportation quarterly Airline Origin & Destination Survey since Q1 2021 
  3. Fulltime-equivalent active Employees      
  4. 1973-2019 annual profitability   

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