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   Vol. 18 No. 67
Friday October 25, 2019
All Aboard American's Skyview 8 At DFW
American Airlines SkyView *
Jessica Tyler, Vice President, Strategy and Development American Airlines Cargo has two thumbs up and American Airlines Cargo Control Center folks agree inside the dazzling new Penthouse Cargo HQ at Robert Crandall Campus in Fort Worth, where 90 cargo IT modules moved to 10 as part of the exciting new AA Cargo IT system. Word up is, switch over on October 1 was a breeze.

Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, sit at the south end of The Great Plains, a part of the United States that stretches the length of the country up into Canada.
     The corridor north is wind friendly, even blustery—an ideal environment for huge, three-bladed, power-generating whirligigs.
     Today Texas leads the United States in wind energy, with more than 13,000 wind turbines.
     The land surrounding Dallas-Ft. Worth is mostly flat, coated in muted, sandy clay and composed of heavy backland soils that farmers call “hardscrabble.”
     It’s a semi-arid portion of mother earth, mostly barren save for the dazzlingly beautiful succulent plants.
     During the last century, American Airlines founder CR Smith purchased vast tracts of the land to set up a home base. Today, the world’s biggest airline has leased additional real estate and just completed a soft opening of the first phase of its new world headquarters, named “The Robert L. Crandall Campus.”
     Robert Crandall served as the carrier’s iconic leader. He led the company into the modern era, serving from 1985 until 1998, a time when American Airlines stepped up in its inexorable climb to the top of the world’s airline business.
     The first impression of Skyview 8, the new headquarters for American Airlines, is that it is big.
     Clean clusters of steel and glass enhance the expansive feeling. The space feels more than ample for the more than 5,600 people who report daily to work.
     The sleek front entrance of Skyview 8 conjures the aerodynamics of aviation, which must have been at the forefront of the building’s creators.
     This is no ordinary office building.
     It is a step into inner space that is joyful, uplifting, and truly like moving within a living sculpture.
     Once inside, geometric themes reminiscent of flight meet the eyes wherever they land.
     A cove with the sculpture of a tail and empennage of an AA aircraft offers a moment of respite and an excellent photo op. Everywhere else the space flows with fluid angles. In stairways, around corners, and in the execution of railings and furniture there is the angular suggestion of understated motion.
     But the best feature of this truly remarkable place might be the one experience everyone gets to visit at least a couple times day.
     The new American Airlines Headquarters is a classic grand American building in the tradition of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC, and our great transportation structures such as The Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport or Grand Central Station in New York City.
     All of these places include a confluent space positioned in the center of all the action, where everyone briefly coalesces on their various journeys—in or out of various chambers of government, or to catch a flight or a train, or here in Texas in this beautiful place, on the way to work.

American Airlines flight Safety Cards sculpture

     In the case of the new AA headquarters, the business of the airline is conducted in open spaces on various levels past standing sculptures that include, among other things, AA aircraft flight safety cards executed in metal.
     The expansive welcoming area inside RLC includes a vaulted ceiling evocative of a giant engine. A skylight beams brightly in its center.
     The action buzzes inside Skyview 8’s welcoming lobby. Meeting rooms encircle the space, rising above the ground like cabins in the sky.
     Every bit of the inside offers immediate views of the outside.
     The lobby invites gatherings for a variety of events. Employees at AA’s Tulsa Maintenance Base crafted an interpretive metal sculpture from Boeing 787 Dreamliner composite material. It twists and turns overhead, recalling contrails in the sky.
     I kept imagining the contrails sculpture as a giant corkscrew just waiting to pop open a giant bottle of champagne and get the party going below!

American Airlines contrails sculpture

     Skyview 8 is part of a $350-million expansion of the American Airlines campus in Fort Worth that was originally built in the 1950s.
     When the expansion is complete, the sprawling campus will have eight main sections that house about 12,000 of American's 108,000 employees.
     To build the new headquarters facility, American extended its campus on DFW International Airport property to 300 acres.
     American has a 99-year ground lease on the land, and it received approximately $21.25 million in tax incentives from the city of Fort Worth for the expansion, including the IT center.
     American Airlines corporate campus employees will continue to see some work for the next few years. The former flight attendant dormitory is being torn down and replaced with the hotel, where employees will stay while they are trained.
     There are also plans for a swimming pool, fitness facility, and conference center.
     Last but for all of us in air cargo certainly not the least is the fact that air cargo has been given place of pride with offices located on the 7th floor Penthouse.
     American Airlines Cargo celebrates 75 years since its humble beginnings aboard a DC3 freighter from LaGuardia in 1944. In 2019 it’s on top of the world, its offices rising above it all with unparalleled views of the happenings below.
     It’s a great position to think big thoughts.
     In the open bull-pen office format, clusters of people and leadership easily interact with each other in a relaxed business atmosphere.
     There is certainly more to share, but the impression from our exclusive visit is that air cargo has come a long way. Like closely watched planes, it shall continue to emerge with new destinations and objectives on the menu (AA Cargo Pres. Rick Elieson’s story appears here October 30), as the century moves ahead.
     Wait ’til you see this place.
     You won’t believe your eyes.

lobby and contrails sculpture photo credit: andy@lutencreative.com
If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Virgin Unveils Expansion Plan
The Joint Is Jumping
Man Behind Engine At Delta
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Chuckles for October 11, 2019

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United EcoSkies Soars In 2019
Her Art Here Finds Friendly Skies
2020 Sulphur Cap Will Slap Cargo
Farewell Kind-Hearted Joe
Chuckles for October 15, 2019

Vol. 18 No. 66
How Cargo Will Pay It Forward
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Autumn Serenade
Chuckles for October 22, 2019

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