Airport Rangers Program Celebrates
Tenth Anniversary

April 3, 2014

© Houston Airport System
Houston Mayor Annise Parker (second from left) joins the Airport Rangers during their 10 year celebration trail ride.
Ten years ago, the Houston Airport System (HAS) created a first-of-its-kind airport equestrian volunteer program to add an extra layer of security along the perimeter of George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). Since that time, the program has not only fulfilled its primary security-related mission, but it’s also developed into a unique and effective community relations and networking tool.

10 Year Celebration
On Saturday, March 22, Houston Mayor Annise Parker joined volunteers, airport officials and area business leaders in celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Houston Airports Ranger Program during a fun-filled day of games, food, live music and trail rides.

“The program was a success from its inception and has since become respected on a national level,” said Saba Abashawl, Chief External Affairs Officer for the Houston Airport System. “As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the program, we welcome more Houstonians to grab the reins and become a Houston Airports Ranger.”

The Airport Rangers Program was originally created in response to numerous requests from equine enthusiasts asking for access to the lush riding trails available on IAH property. From those requests a plan was born, where volunteer riders would undergo a security screening and specialized training in how to recognize and report suspicious activity on airport property.

In return, the riders and their animals would gain approved access to the IAH trails and the Houston Airport System would gain free security patrols in wooded areas that are not easily accessible by car, bike or foot.

Community Outreach & Networking
Aside from the security benefits, the Rangers program has also proven to be an extremely valuable tool in the areas of community outreach and executive networking.

The list of Ranger volunteers participating in a variety of events includes elected officials, executives from the Houston business region, off-duty law enforcement officers, community leaders and local residents.

These riders not only patrol the 12,000 acres at IAH but they often represent the Houston Airport System in key public events. For example, more than a dozen riders took to the streets of downtown to participate in the 2014 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Parade. The parade has helped kick-off the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo every year since 1938 and the Airport Rangers have participated in the event since 2007.

“The safety and security of our passengers will always remain the primary focus of the Airport Rangers program,” Abashawl says. “But another key aspect of the program involves having fun and showcasing this uniquely Texan group of individuals to the community.”

For more information about the Houston Airport Rangers Program visit fly2houston.com/AirportRangers.
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