Houston Airport Announces $1 Billion Improvement Project

In partnership with the Houston Airport System (HAS) and United Airlines, the City of Houston has initiated a $1 billion renovation project at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced last month.

"As the largest hub for the largest airline in the world, Bush Intercontinental is positioned to serve the world as United builds its global network," Parker said. "Our airport serves as one of the most important economic engines in Houston and we are committed to expanding the portal to our global business connections."

At a cost of $161 million, phase one of the three-phase project will begin later this year and is scheduled for completion in late 2013. Designed to enhance the customer experience in the gate area at Terminal B, which is one of the airport's original terminals and United's largest hub, it will include a new 225,000-square-foot south concourse dedicated to domestic regional aircraft. In addition to replacing existing south side flight stations, it will include expanded gate lounge space, concessions and restroom facilities, as well as a new gate layout that United will use to introduce a high-efficiency boarding process, allowing up to 30 flights to depart through three main boarding zones.

"With the anticipation of aviation innovation and growth over the next decade, we are charged with improving Terminal B, which was originally built in 1969, while also keeping a careful eye on the future of the Houston airports, our nearly 50 million passengers and helping our valuable partners," said Houston Airport System Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz.

Added United President and CEO Jeff Smisek, "I commend Mayor Parker for her vision in continuing to develop Bush Intercontinental into a world-class, international gateway capable of meeting traffic demands well into the future. The new Terminal B will be larger and easier to navigate than the current facilities, with more amenities for travelers."

Scheduled to be complete within seven to 10 years, phases two and three of the renovation project will include a redevelopment of the central Terminal B lobby and baggage claim areas; a new international-capable north concourse for mainline and regional jet flights; a Federal Inspections Services (FIS) facility; and other infrastructure improvements.