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State of the Airports Event Has Global Focus

© Houston Airport System
The Houston Airport System intends to expand its global footprint by aggressively targeting new international destinations. That was one of the objectives discussed by Mario C. Diaz, aviation director of the Houston Airport System during the State of the Airports presentation, held on January 27, 2011.

“We are striving to become a premier international gateway. To reach this destination – it is not business as usual at the Houston Airport System,” said Mario C. Diaz. “We have raised the bar.”

Approximately 500 people attended the luncheon at the Hilton Post Oak Hotel to network and see what is on the horizon for Houston’s three city-operated airports – George Bush Intercontinental Airport, William P. Hobby and Ellington Airport, each of which are considered to be vital cogs in the region’s economic engine. Greater Houston Partnership Chairman, and former Continental Airlines President, Larry Kellner welcomed the crowd and Houston Mayor Annise Parker shared her vision for Houston’s Airports.

“We are a global international city, built on business. The airports are our gateways to South and Central America,” said Mayor Parker. “We want to open up Houston to the rest of the world.”

“I have a great appreciation for the Houston Airport System, it’s one of the ‘crown jewels’ of Houston,” said Kellner. “I’m looking forward to seeing where we are headed.”

Looking back at 2010, Houston welcomed new air service from VivaAerobus, Houston Express and Branson AirExpress. Houston currently offers non-stop flights to more than 30 destinations in Mexico, more than any other U. S. airport.

Houston recently added new routes and expanded service to Mexican cities such as Chiapas, Tuxtla-Gutierrez and Monterrey. With the addition of non-stop flights to domestic destinations such as Branson, Missouri, Panama City, Florida, and Crested Butte, Colorado, Houston now has non-stop service to more than 100 domestic cities and 66 international cities.

Houston offers more direct international destinations than Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Of the 66 international nonstop destinations – 46 are located in Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico. Houston has its eye on several key emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil, Panama, Chile, South Africa, Vietnam, Korea, and the Caribbean.”

2010 Accomplishments
  • Houston was named home to “Best Airports in America” by Travel + Leisure Magazine
  • Ellington Airport won the FAA Southwest Region Airport Safety Award
  • At Ellington, the Military commenced at $100 million investment in facilities and infrastructure improvements
  • At Hobby Airport – the $250 million investment in Terminal expansion improvements was opened for
    public use
  • Terminal C Reconstruction/expansion project was opened
  • Terminal A – Automated People Mover (APM) project was completed and opened for public use
  • International traffic at George Bush Intercontinental increased by 8.4 percent over the past year
  • At Hobby Airport, domestic traffic grew by six percent in 2010
  • Airports Council International-North America awarded the Houston Airport System five Marketing & Communications Awards

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