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Houston Airport System- Congressional Tour


August 1, 2011

  © Houston Airport System
  The tour included representatives from several congressional offices.
Building stronger relationships and giving Texas Congressional executives a clear view of current and upcoming projects at the Houston Airport System was the purpose of a recent tour, patriotic lunch and presentations coordinated by the Community Relations Group.

For the first time, Texas Congressional staff members received a “behind the scenes” look at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and an in-depth analysis of the Houston Airport System which included a budget overview, terminal expansion plans, air service development, airport economic impact, passenger facilitation, customer satisfaction survey results and the possibility of expanding Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to Ellington Airport.

Representatives from the Congressional offices of Kevin Brady, John Cornyn, John Culberson, Al Green, Gene Green, Ruben Hinojosa, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Michael McCaul, Pete Olson, and Ted Poe were invited as well as Mayor Annise Parker’s office.

“The Houston Delegation Team members enjoyed a day of information and networking. There was common ground and an opportunity to explore in great detail the “behind the scenes” activities at IAH,” said Rhonda Arnold, director of community relations for Houston Airports. “This type of outreach helps HAS to foster positive relationships with elected officials in order to maintain good relationships in the community. We were asked to continue this type of dialogue and community exchange.”

Since Bush Intercontinental handles approximately 8 million international travelers a year, one of the highlights included the international travel program, Global Entry. Alma Montemayor of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) explained the program which allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. She also led the tour of one of the largest Federal Inspection Services facilities in the nation, with 84 booths which can handle up to 4,000 passengers an hour.

The tour and presentations proved to be on point and effective. “What an outstanding tour! Thanks so much,” Sarah Stephens, district director, Congressman Kevin Brady.
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