With packages of pretzels and peanuts, Southwest Airlines broke ground on its new flight training facility in Dallas on Thursday.
Called “Wings,” the new building will house 18 flight simulators need for ongoing pilot training at the Dallas-based airline. It will be located on the west side of Denton Drive adjacent to its Training and Operational Support building that opened in 2014.
“Our current flight training center is at capacity and we need more space to accommodate pilot training needs for future fleet growth,” the company said.
The project is expected to be completed by 2018 and includes a 414,000-square-foot office building, a 367,000-square-foot flight training center and a 1,900-car parking garage. It will also include a pedestrian bridge that will connect Wings to the TOPS building and headquarters facility, which is across the street.
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Southwest held a ceremonial ground breaking indoors with executives and “adopt-a-pilot” students from local schools. The company had students shovel packages of pretzels and peanuts as part of the celebration.