Southwest Airlines Expands TX Pilot Training Facility

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) announced construction is underway on an expansion project for the carrier’s Leadership and Aircrew Development (LEAD) Center on its headquarters campus in Dallas, Texas. The three-story 141,000 square foot expansion project will add space for eight additional flight simulators, up from its current 18 simulators, additional room for briefing rooms, and space for smaller flight training devices. It’s anticipated to open in the fall of 2020.

Between Continuing Qualification training, Captain Upgrade classes, and New Hire Classes, the carrier trains an average of 850 Pilots monthly at the LEAD center.

“This expansion allows us to plan for the future while continuing our commitment to provide the industry’s best training to our growing Pilot workforce,” said Alan Kasher, Southwest’s Vice President of Flight Operations. “This investment paves the way to allow for training of more Pilots at any given time as well as prepares Southwest for future Pilot growth.”

“I’m happy to see such an iconic Dallas-based company continue to expand in its home city,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. “Southwest continues to be one of Dallas’ best corporate partners, providing high-paying jobs to thousands who live and work in our city.”

The expansion project is being led by McCarthy Building Companies which will serve as Construction Manager at Risk. The company recently completed construction of the original LEAD Center which includes an office building housing the airline’s operational teams and a parking garage. This project extends McCarthy’s deep experience in the aviation sector and its ongoing relationship with Southwest Airlines.

“Our teams faced unique and complex challenges while building the original, cutting-edge training center at Southwest Airline’s campus headquarters,” said Joe Jouvenal, McCarthy’s senior vice president. “With our previous experience, McCarthy is ideally suited to deliver high-quality work on this project, on time and within budget. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Southwest Airlines.”

About McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 155 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. Repeatedly honored as a Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer, McCarthy is ranked the 12th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2019). With approximately 3,700 salaried employees and craft professionals, the firm has offices in St. Louis; Atlanta; Collinsville, Ill.; Kansas City, Kan.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Denver; Dallas, Houston; Albuquerque; and San Diego, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.


In its 49th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 59,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 130 million passengers annually. Southwest became the nation’s largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. In peak travel seasons, Southwest operates more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 101 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries.
Southwest coined Transfarency® to describe its purposed philosophy of treating Customers honestly and fairly, and low fares actually staying low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some carriers offer free checked bags on select routes or in qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply.
Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. Learn more about how the carrier gives back to communities across the world by visiting

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