Its flying days are over, but a decommissioned Boeing 737 aircraft located at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is still going to benefit the Houston community. That’s because law enforcement agencies and other first-responder groups will now be able to use the aircraft in specialized training exercises. “Acquiring this plane gives our officers a realistic training tool in the ongoing efforts to keep the citizens of Houston safe,” said Charles McClelland, Houston Police Chief. “The bedrock of security is training,” said Mario Diaz, director of the Houston Airport System. “I recently attended a training session with federal air marshalls and I know this plane will enable all divisions of law enforcement to sharpen their responses.” Getting the plane to IAH took a tremendous amount of coordination between local, state and federal officials with U.S. Representative Ted Poe leading the charge. “The men and women that wear the badge are a cut above the rest,” said Congressman Poe. “When I was elected to Congress, I continued my longtime support for law enforcement and made advocating for them a top priority. This project is a perfect example of all levels of government working together to make sure that our local law enforcement community has the equipment they need to keep the rest of us safe.” While the jet was obtained at no direct cost to Houston taxpayers, it did take quite a bit of maneuvering to get the plane re-routed to Houston from the “Boneyard” in Arizona where it had been scheduled to be decommissioned and never used again. The Houston Airport System, Continental Airlines, The Defense Logistics agency, Randolph Air Force Base, the Houston Police Foundation and Waste Management Corporation all pitched in to clear out unnecessary seats and pull the plane into its new location at IAH. The Boeing 737-200 was originally commissioned into the Air Force in 1973 and was used to train navigators at San Antonio’s Randolph Air Force Base. Acquisition of this aircraft furthers HPD’s long-term goal of developing a state-of-the art “Training Village” that would include this plane as part of the overall training tactical experience. For more information, visit Photo: Police chief Charles McClelland and aviation director Mario C. Diaz enjoy an up-close view of the aircraft’s cockpit.

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