ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – American Airlines is closing it’s St. Louis pilot base next September. American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller says 180 pilots will have a decision to make.

“Those individuals will have option of commuting and operating their aircraft out of a different base, or relocating, and also participating in the vacancy bid process which goes on each and every month at American.

He says the change will not affect flight service out of St. Louis. American is retiring the MD-80 aircraft, which is the only plane it flies out of St. Louis Lambert right now. Miller says they’ll stop using MD-80s entirely by 2019. 787’s will eventually become the plane American uses at Lambert.

American says the closure will simplify operations. Lambert spokesman Jeff Lea says it won’t affect St. Louis customers.

American operates 41 flights daily out of Lambert, less than half of which is actually piloted by American pilots, the rest flown by airline partners.

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