Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Boeing Unit to Operate Paint Hangar

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Boeing Unit to Operate Paint Hangar

Article excerpt

The Boeing Co. of Seattle has been named operator of a planned city-owned aircraft paint hangar designed to work on U.S. Air Force airplanes.

This is the first step toward privatization of some of the work at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, the host tenant unit at Tinker Air Force Base.

Full scope of the work has not been determined nor has the full definition of the project. Cost of the hangar and all its equipment is estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $78 million, nearly three times the original estimate announced last fall. A contract is expected to be signed in early April. Although the Boeing unit reportedly was notified of its selection Friday, no official announcement has been made by Tinker officials. Details are not available, other than the contractor has been notified after a four-month search, according to Richard Burpee, vice president of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. At least five contractors were involved in early negotiations. If the Air Force has selected a contractor, that means that officials from the Oklahoma City airport officials can meet with the contractor and Tinker officials to start negotiations and determine the full definition, said Bill Ingraham, assistant director of the Oklahoma City Department of Airports. "Until now, we have not been able to talk with anyone officially, we have not seen any of the proposals, so we don't know what the full definition is," he said. "Now, we'll be able to start negotiation and start our work to get things done." The Oklahoma City Airport Trust is expected to finance the project. When it was announced last fall, the timetable called for a contractor to be selected by mid-February, a contract to be signed by April 1 and for construction to start four to six months later. The original schedule called for the hangar to be in operation by September 1999. "That's still doable on this schedule," Ingraham said. Details of what will be done in the hangar and the financing plan are not known, he said. But there are a couple of options and issues that must be ironed out before full contracts are signed. The Oklahoma City Airport Trust probably will issue revenue bonds to construct the facility, which will be leased either to the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center or the contractor. The leasing agent would pay rent equivalent to debt retirement, interest payments and maintenance on the facility, which is expected to be a three- bay hangar. Each bay is expected to be large enough to hold the largest airplane in the Air Force inventory. The Boeing-built B-52 bomber is the longest and has the tallest tail while the Northrop-built B-2 bomber has the widest wingspan. One bay would be used for stripping the airplanes while the others would be used for painting them. …

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