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NEWS Last modified on January 30, 2017

Qantas unveils giant new A380 hangar at LAX

Qantas' new $30-million maintenance and engineering facility at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has instantly become one of largest commercial aircraft hangars in North America.

Opened on Friday, it is the first purpose built hangar to accommodate the Airbus A380 in the US.

The 613,543-square-foot facility will be used to carry out maintenance checks on Qantas’ A380 and Boeing 747 aircraft during ground time in Los Angeles.

It will also have capacity to support Qantas’ new B787-9 Dreamliner when it enters service later this year.

With 50% more space than the airline’s previous hangar at LAX, which was also used to maintain A380s and B747s, the facility has the capacity for four aircraft to be worked on simultaneously.

Its higher capacity is expected to cut the time it takes to carry out maintenance tasks by about 20%.

And its size means Qantas will also have the ability to bid for work on other carriers’ aircraft.
According to the airline, the new building has enabled Qantas to consolidate its property footprint in Los Angeles, with 40 corporate employees moving into new offices in the hangar and joining the team of local engineers.

Qantas’ previous hangar at LAX was built at the start of the jet era in 1958 and was demolished to make way for broader improvements to the airport.

“As the airport with the most A380 flights in North America, which includes Qantas’ daily A380 non-stops to and from Sydney and Melbourne, we are thrilled that LAX was chosen to be the home of this beautiful new facility,” says Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) CEO, Deborah Flint.

Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, says that the new facilities give the airline a world-class maintenance facility in one of its busiest offshore hubs.

“We can have up to four aircraft on the ground at LAX at once and some are here for around 14  hours, so it makes sense to have a facility where we can make good use of that time by doing scheduled maintenance," he says.

"Ultimately, this helps us increase the amount of time our aircraft can spend serving our customers.”

Qantas operates more than 40 weekly departures from LAX to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane using A380s and B747s.

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner services on the Melbourne-LA route will begin December 2017. 

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