Fort Worth Alliance Airport is working to fill the space that once housed engine maintenance company Texas Aero Engine Services, LLC (TAESL).
On March 29, the city council passed a resolution to enter negotiations to end TAESL’s lease at Alliance early. TAESL, which was operated by American Airlines and Rolls Royce, did maintenance for jet engines used on planes like the Boeing 757 and 777. Last year, American Airlines announced that TAESL was closing down due to the workload declining after American Airlines discontinued the use of planes like the Boeing 757.
TAESL leased property at 2100, 2102 and 2112 Eagle Parkway at Alliance Airport. TAESL’s lease originally lasted until 2025, but now TAESL is seeking an early termination of the lease, effective early 2017. However, TAESL can terminate its lease even earlier — that is, by September — if the company pays the city $2.2 million and agrees to not auction off any of the equipment in the facility for 60 days after the lease is terminated.
The city wants to keep the equipment in the facilities in hopes of attracting future tenants to the space, said Tom Harris, president of Alliance Air/Aviation Services. Harris said about two or three parties have shown interest in leasing TAESL’s space, but he could not share specifically who those potential tenants are.
“As long as we can have the equipment in place and have the people walk through the facility with equipment in the building, the longer we can do that and delay that equipment being moved, the better chance the city will have at actually entering into a new lease with the new company,” he said.
Meanwhile, Alliance Airport is also continuing work on the lengthening of two runways, as the city council approved additional funding for the project.
The city will pay Lane Construction Corporation about $633,000 more for the first phase of construction. The additional payment brings the total construction cost to $62.6 million for all three phases.
The cost increase is partly due to the heavy rainfall the area experienced last year. According to a city staff report, the project’s low lying areas have become “saturated” and need additional pipes to redirect the storm water.
The runways being lengthened are Runway 16L/34R and Runway 16R/34L. Runway 16L/34R is currently 9,600 feet, while Runway 16R/34L is 8,120 feet. After the extension, each runway will be about 11,000 feet.
The reason for lengthening the runways is to make takeoff easier for planes carrying heavy fuel and cargo, Harris said. Heavily loaded aircraft can have difficulty taking off especially when the weather gets hot in Texas, but longer takeoff distances would help mitigate the issue and allow businesses to fly nonstop from Fort Worth to Europe, Harris said.
Construction on the runways began September 2015 and is expected to finish in 2018.
Alliance Airport, located at 2221 Alliance Blvd., is a city-owned airport operated by the Hillwood company’s Alliance Air/Aviation Services.