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Acquired in 2010 from Northwest (now Delta) by regional airline owner Pinnacle Airlines Corporation, Mesaba Aviation is the longest-flying regional airline in the United States.

With airline service to more than 110 cities in the U.S. and Canada, having a state-of-the-art maintenance facility is critical. When Northwest Airlines was looking for someone to design a new maintenance hub in Des Moines, Iowa for their feeder carrier Mesaba, the choice was simple. Pickering had designed a similar facility for them in Knoxville and they’d had a great experience.

The 80,000 square-foot Des Moines facility includes a 65,000 square-foot maintenance hangar capable of housing four regional jets, and 15,000 square feet of shops and administration offices. The pre-engineered metal building has a 245 foot clear span and a 45 foot eave height with an attached lower roof, shops and administration area.

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Safety First.

The entire maintenance bay is protected by both a High Expansion Foam (HEF) and a traditional water sprinkler fire protection system fed by three large water pumps connected to a large heated water storage tank. To provide an even higher level of fire safety, a flame detection system was added. For environmental protection, the sewers have valves which close upon activation of the HEF system.

In addition to the normal systems associated with aircraft maintenance such as compressed air distributed throughout the building, accommodating Des Moines’ average 20 degree winter temperatures required some unique design features. The roof, gutters and hangar door track are equipped with electronic ice and snow melting equipment. A low intensity radiant heating system provides quick, safe and efficient heating after the hangar doors are opened or once maintenance operations begin at night.

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