American Airlines will break ground on the Robert W. Baker Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth. Earlier this year, American announced plans to consolidate the current American Airlines operations center in Fort Worth and the current US Airways operations center in Pittsburgh. The new facility will be located near American's headquarters and Flight Academy south of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The state-of-the-art Integrated Operations Center will serve as the nerve center of American's global network and will house more than 1,400 employees who plan, oversee and dispatch the airline's more than 1 million annual mainline flights serving more than 140 million customers.
"Tomorrow will be an exciting day for American Airlines as we take another step forward in our integration," said Doug Parker, American's chairman and CEO. "It is most fitting that this new, state-of-the-art facility will bear the name of one of the most respected leaders in American's history. Bob Baker was widely regarded for his commitment to safety, reliability and operational integrity. He is a great example for all of us at American and we are honored to have his name on this extremely important facility."
The employees who will ultimately work in the two-story, 149,000-square-foot facility will manage a global, complex and fast-moving network of people, aircraft, airports, facilities and airspace. Specific functions of the new Integrated Operations Center will include Flight Dispatch, Crew Scheduling, Maintenance Operations Control, Weight and Balance Planning, System Customer Service, Flight Planning Support, and Emergency Planning and Response. The building has been designed to withstand winds associated with an EF3 tornado (165-185 mph). It is anticipated to be completed by the third quarter of 2015.
The late Robert W. Baker was American's former vice chairman who retired in 2002 after a 35-year career with the company. During his career, Baker held a variety of positions in Marketing, Freight Marketing, Field Services, Information Services and Operations. In 1985, Baker took responsibility for the airline's Flight Operations, Airport Services and Maintenance and Engineering during a period of rapid growth for American. He became executive vice president of operations in 1989 and vice chairman in 2000. Baker was widely regarded throughout the industry for his commitment to safe and reliable airline operations.
American will hold a special groundbreaking ceremony tomorrow to celebrate the first day of construction on the new building. Chairman and CEO Doug Parker and Chief Operating Officer Robert Isom will be joined by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and the family of Mr. Baker, including his wife Marty. Employees of the airline are also invited to attend.
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