KCUR News
9:40 am
Wed October 28, 2009

American Airlines Overhaul Base Expected To Exit

Kansas City, MO – It's not officially confirmed, but an announcement is expected today that the once-huge KCI overhaul base, started by TWA in the 1950's, will close next year.

A group of Kansas City leaders met with American Airlines officials yesterday but refused on the record comment.

The base has dwindled in size as American moved more and more of it's overhaul functions to a Tulsa, Oklahoma repair base and its newest repair base at company headquarters in Texas.

Last March, American's parent company chief financial officer said the airline no longer needed all of its maintenance bases.

In summer of 2008, Kansas City officials said they would hold the airline to a 25 year lease on the base as American announced job cuts. Last October, American Airlines said that some 220 workers would be laid off.

Yesterday's meeting included Mayor Mark Funkhouser, the city manager and aviation director.

The Kansas City Star quotes City Manager Wayne Cauthen saying the company would be allowed to tell employees first about the overhaul base future before making a public announcement.

The base now has about 500 employees. It's a far cry from 2005 when it had 2 thousand workers at KCI. A time when American signed a 25 year lease with the city.