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Southwest Grand Opening Feature
Press Release |

Ghafari Celebrates Opening of Southwest Airlines’ Largest Aircraft Maintenance Center at Houston Hobby Airport

Ghafari Celebrates Opening of Southwest Airlines’ Largest Aircraft Maintenance Center at Houston Hobby Airport

Houston, TX – Global architecture and engineering firm Ghafari Associates (Ghafari) is excited to announce the completion of the Southwest Airlines® Aircraft Maintenance Center at Houston’s William P. Hobby International Airport. The new facility, the largest hangar in the airline’s network, was unveiled at a grand opening celebration on January 8, 2020 attended by over 300 people, including Sylvester Turner, the Mayor of Houston, and Gary Kelly, Southwest’s CEO and Chairman of the Board.

"The opening of this state-of-the-art aircraft maintenance center marks a new chapter for Southwest Airlines and their future at Houston Hobby,” said Ted Oberlies, Senior Vice President of Ghafari’s Aviation Practice. “It’s a true testament to Southwest’s commitment to the future of their Houston operations, employees, and customers. We were honored to lead the facility design, working closely with Southwest and AvAirPros, and a great consultant and contracting team. I would also like to send a special thanks to Kimley-Horn, Henderson Rogers, 4b Technology, McCarthy Construction, as well as the Houston Airport System and the City of Houston for their support.”

Ghafari provided architecture and engineering services for the development of the 245,000 SF aircraft maintenance operation and service center, which includes a 140,000 SF hangar and 105,000 SF of support functions. The new hangar can house up to six 737 aircraft with room for an additional eight outside. The site also includes over 505,000 SF of taxi lane and aircraft apron paving as well as an aircraft wash building and a fire pump house.

The hangar bays and support shops were designed with specific focus on Southwest’s base and heavier aircraft maintenance. The hangar envelope and orientation were carefully confirmed to meet functional needs while effectively integrating with the site and airfield conditions. Key features of the design include the use of LED lighting and daylight harvesting, which will conserve energy and reduce costs.

Operating more than 90 percent of the flights out of Houston Hobby, Southwest’s new facility will allow for better fleet service and reliability. The goal for this aircraft MRO facility is to provide the most value-driven work space to promote quality, productivity, and safety in aircraft maintenance.

About Ghafari Associates

An innovator since 1982, Ghafari embraces an integrated design approach to deliver solutions that synergize building operations, systems, and people. This approach is made possible by the firm’s full complement of capabilities, including architecture, interior design, civil + structural engineering, MEP, ICT + security, and operations + systems engineering. Ghafari supports the automotive, aviation, commercial, education, government + institutional, healthcare, industrial + manufacturing, and workplace sectors through 11 offices across the globe. To learn more, visit

Media Contacts:

Nicole Ghafari | Marketing Principal | Ghafari | | +1.248.765.2808