Alaska Airlines has unveiled its new hangar at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Mechanics working on Alaska Airlines jets have reason to feel safer as they complete their jobs. The work takes place in the airline's new $50-million state of the art hangar. 

"This has been a work for a decade, let's just say that," said Kurt Kinder, the airline's vice president of maintenance.

The old hangar opened in 1954, but, Alaska Airlines has outgrown it since then. The new building measures more than 100,000 square feet, and can simultaneously house two Boeing 737s while crews work on them -- something they could not do in the old hangar. 

"As we got larger aircraft the winglets, they were not safely fitting in there; we had under 2 feet of wing clearance as we towed aircraft into the hangar," said regional manager David Boyce. "We designed this building to have 15-foot minimum clearances."

The majority of work takes place during overnight hours, and a hangar can cool off pretty quickly if mechanics have to open the doors during winter. That's not a problem any more thanks to a new heat recovery design as the doors rise to open, rather than sliding sideways.

"As you raise the doors, you want to capture the heat in the ceiling," Kinder said. "The beauty of this new building is we have these new air handling units that take that captured heat; as soon as you close the door, it takes that heat and puts it down on the ground where you're working again. Literally within minutes, you can go from 24 degrees to 65 degrees."

Airline managers see another payoff from their new hangar.

"We can take more of the work up here in the state of Alaska, where aviation starts and ends, in my mind," Boyce said.

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