In November 1988, our second maintenance base opened in Houston to support the growing fleet. At the time, Southwest operated 85 aircraft with many more on the way. It represented a $5.7 million investment in one of our original cities.
To help celebrate the new facility, more than 100 community leaders joined Herb at a ribbon cutting ceremony, with one of our legendary -200s doing the honor as it was towed through a ribbon hanging across the massive doors. The hangar was built with two bays, a shops and warehouse area, and several offices. At approximately 94,000 square feet, it was big enough to house up to four 737-200s, which at the time represented more than half the fleet.
Today, more than 300 Technical Operations Employees keep our all-Boeing fleet safe, reliable, and clean.