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The Berkshires

FedEx gives airport new plane

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Albany/HV: FedEx gives airport new plane
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Albany International Airport was on the receiving end of a gift Thursday from FedEx. Our Erin Connolly has more.

COLONIE, N.Y. -- FedEx made a very special delivery to the Albany International Airport Thursday: A Boeing 727 aircraft.

Beth Rush of FedEx said, "There is another option for these planes and that is to park them in the desert. There are desert locations for storage of aircrafts and we know these airplanes won't fly again, so we would rather have them get good use and hands on training."

The plane was manufactured in 1978 and has logged more than 45,000 flight hours. Thanks to a program at FedEx, the company retires older planes and donates them to be a training aircraft.

David Cook, the Albany International Airport fire chief, said, "After 9/11, it has been very difficult to get training on aircrafts. We can read magazines and look at diagrams, but to have hands on experience is an excellent opportunity for us."

And airport firefighters got their first chance at a test run with the plane just minutes after it was delivered. They practiced what to do when the cockpit gets filled with smoke.

John O'Donnell, the CEO of Albany International Airport, said, "The whole idea is safety and training and have our guys be familiar with how to get on an aircraft and one engaged in fire."

The CEO says the goal is to have the best equipped and trained firefighters in the state. They will also allow other fire companies and law enforcement agencies to use the aircraft for training purposes.

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