The Southwest Airlines Technical Operations Center (TOC) at Denver International Airport (DEN) constructed by Swinerton will be honored at Engineering News-Record (ENR) Mountain States’ annual Best Projects awards program on December 8. Winning projects were also featured in the magazine’s November 27 issue.
Designed to house three Boeing 737 aircraft and park an additional eight on the apron, the 128,000-square-foot airplane hangar earned the Award of Merit in the Airport/Transit category for projects located in Colorado, Wyoming, and the Dakotas.
Southwest’s new DEN facility embodies the airline’s long-term commitment to Colorado as a national epicenter of operations. The airline joined the design expertise of Ghafari Associates and Woolpert/JViation with the construction prowess and local expertise of Swinerton’s Colorado team to establish a permanent presence on the edge of the Rockies.
The hangar incorporates a heavy steel and structural concrete frame that bridges a 270-foot clear span and 48,000 cubic yards of concrete. Technically five doors in one, the Megadoor stretches the length of the building with a tail pocket in the middle. The five fabric doors fold in sections—individually, in groups, or all together.
As Swinerton’s largest project to date with Southwest, the general contractor’s team successfully navigated the typical challenges of a complex aviation project and the atypical challenges of a global pandemic. While the aviation industry nearly ground to a halt, the job site for the TOC remained open, making it Southwest’s only capital improvement project operating across the country at that time.
The ENR Mountain States 2023 Best Projects competition spans a seven-state region that includes Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and the Dakotas. A panel of judges from all areas of the industry reviewed around 100 entries in a variety of categories this year, examining factors such as safety, innovation, craft quality, and community or industry benefit.