GDC Technics of San Antonio, which bills itself as one of the largest aircraft modification companies in the world, is looking to expand to Alliance Airport in north Fort Worth and could hire as many as 600 workers within five years, a top company executive said Friday.
The Alliance Airport Authority Board, which consists of City Council members, on Tuesday is scheduled to vote on authorizing a lease with the company for 840,000 square feet of hangar and warehouse space at the former American Airlines maintenance facility at the airport. The company would be leasing less than half of the 1.8 million-square-foot facility.
Once a lease is signed, the company expects to begin operations at the facility in 90 to 120 days after some work is done, said Mohammad Alzeer, general partner of GDC Technics. The space would allow the company to double in size, he said.
“We’re maxed out in our facility in San Antonio and we are looking for a place to expand,” Alzeer said. “It is an excellent facility and a natural expansion in Texas.”
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In San Antonio, GDC operates a 144,600-square-foot hangar that can accommodate a Boeing 747 and a Boeing 787 Dreamliner side-by-side, according to its website. It also has more than 600 employees at the south Texas facility.
If the lease is executed, the company would hire about 600 workers including aircraft maintenance professionals, technicians, engineers, other specialists and administrative employees, Alzeer said. Some employees would work between both company facilities, he said. GDC Technics handles modifications for commercial, VIP and military aircraft.
GDC Technics is the former Gore Design Completions company. Alzeer’s MAZ Aviation Group in Saudi Arabia acquired the company in 2013, according to reports.
According to its website, GDC Technics said it planned to have facilities in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. The company is expanding globally so its facilities are within four flying hours of its customers. In December, the company acquired PFW Engineering in Germany.
In a letter on the company’s website, Alzeer said GDC Technics’ backlog of signed contracts stands at $650 million, but that will likely increase to $900 million this year.
American Airlines closed its maintenance base at Alliance, which had 1,200 employees, in early 2013 as part of its bankruptcy reorganization and moved work to Tulsa. American still operates an engine overhaul facility at Alliance in a joint venture with Rolls-Royce, called Texas Aero Engine Service facility, or TAESL. It has about 600 workers.
The maintenance base opened in 1991 and was designed to accommodate seven wide-body planes standing wingtip to wingtip inside its docks. American had leased the property from the city. The city is scheduled to resume the facility’s operations on Feb. 1.
American Airlines merged with US Airways in late 2013. Its lease with the city was to run through August 2028.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727