Rubb USA Builds Hangar for Hawaiian’s MRO Operation

Hawaiian Airlines, the State of Hawaii and HNL needed to expand their hangar and air cargo capacity and selected Rubb’s aviation buildings as the solution. Because of space and growth constraints the project required a unique design. Hawaiian Air visited Rubb USA’s air cargo facility, which was built for United Airlines at HNL in 1997, to get an understanding of Rubb’s capabilities.

MCA Architects in Portland, Oregon, was brought on board to design the new MRO hangar and air cargo warehouse. The project required a diverse use of spaces including cargo, parts warehousing, aircraft maintenance, ground equipment maintenance, offices, training classrooms, and various other facilities.

“They wanted to redevelop their home base at HNL and wanted to take a look at Rubb’s technology,” says Frank Rudloff, partner at MCA Architects.

Rubb then designed, manufactured and constructed a maintenance hangar with a length of 105.7m (347ft) and an air cargo facility at a length of 57.9m (190ft). Each aviation building features a clear span width of 83.8m (275ft).

Rubb says their technology provides long term benefits superior to traditional construction. Taking into consideration Hawaii’s natural environment, a corrosive marine environment with high winds and rain, not to mention high UV exposure, Rubb provided a corrosion resistant structural framework with non-corrosive PVC cladding, which allows natural light to enter while reflecting solar load.

Also, due to a shallow coral base at the site, the foundation requirements for the building had to be flexible, another positive feature of Rubb buildings. However, Rubb says the true milestone of this project was their ability to synergize with HNL, State of Hawaii, Hawaiian Air, and MCA Architects along with a local construction contractor to see this project through.

“It’s always a challenge to do major improvements to an active airport. The program was designed in a sequence so that certain projects would be completed to allow for other projects to begin and at the same time keep operations running 24/7,” said Carolyn Sluyter, public information officer, State of Hawaii.

The new facility consolidates Hawaiian Airline’s existing cargo operations, aircraft maintenance, loading docks and customer service operations into an integrated facility. As HNL continues to grow, the Rubb hangar may be expanded by adding trusses and extending the fabric roof.