Airport Business

MAY 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT By Joe Petrie One Year to Change an Entire Company Communication proved key in meeting an aggressive deadline for Southwest Airlines new LEAD facility at Dallas Love Field. With Southwest Airlines continued growth, the company needed to upgrade its facilities at Dallas Love Field (DAL) to meet new demands. A major component for this was a new facility to train its pilots to handle new aircraft as the company enhanced its fleet. "Our current Flight Training Center was at capacity and the addition of the LEAD Center within the Wings facility was needed to accommodate our pilot training needs for future fleet growth, said Robert Dorsey, director corporate Facilities, for Southwest Airlines via an emailed statement. "The office building provides workspace and ancillary areas needed to support overall growth." The LEAD (Leadership Education and Aircrew Development) Center is a 380,000-square-foot facility that has the capacity to house and support 18 flight simulators, workshops, functional support areas and provides substantial space for classroom training. The LEAD Center is in a hardened portion of the facility and capable of withstanding an F3 tornado. Wings also contains a six-story, environmentally-friendly office building. The 425,000-square-foot building includes office workspace, a full-service kitchen and dining area, and conference rooms. In addition to surrounding surface-lot parking, an eight-level parking garage with 1,950 spaces provides parking for employees and visitors. A 400-foot pedestrian safety bridge connects Wings to the third floors of Southwest Airlines' Headquarters and TOPS buildings. The bridge provides a safer way for employees to travel between the east and west sides of Southwest's corporate campus by eliminating the need to leave the secured portion of campus. It also keeps employees from having to cross two busy public streets, DART Light Rail tracks, and commercial train tracks at ground level. "The goal for the project was to begin flight simulator set-up in the new facility by May 15, 2017," Dorsey said. "This was 53 weeks from the anticipated start date. It was necessary to achieve this milestone to allow time for simulator assembly and FAA validation to occur in time to begin training pilots in the LEAD Center by August 1, 2017." Dorsey said the company began internal planning and design in the first quarter of 2015 for McCarthy Construction Co. 8 airportbusiness May 2018

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