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Safety Record Recognized at Bush Airport

Travel + Leisure Magazine ranks airport as third safest in nation

September 1, 2011

© Houston Airport System
Excellent planning at Bush Airport has produced a layout that minimizes runway/taxiway intersections.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport ranks as the third safest airport in the nation according to a new study conducted by Travel + Leisure magazine.

The study analyzed data from the nation’s 35 busiest airports and covered operations from 2006 to 2010. Researchers focused on a document called the FAA Runway Safety Report, which catalogs the number of runway incidents reported at individual airports. These incidents range in nature from relatively minor infractions to serious situations “in which there was a strong or good possibility of a crash.”

Houston’s largest airport is the only facility in the country to occupy a spot on the “nation’s 10 busiest” list and a spot on the magazine’s “10 safest” list.

“This type of accomplishment is only possible through a team effort,” says Bush Intercontinental Airport general manager Mary Case. “This is a reflection of the dedication shown by our own airport staff and the strong partnerships we’ve built over the years with the airlines and various federal agencies.”

According to the study, George Bush Intercontinental Airport is enjoying the strong ranking at a time when the amount of attention being paid to air safety at U.S. airports is at an all-time high.

The article in Travel + Leisure magazine points out that in 2000, U.S. airports recorded 67 serious runway incursions, but by 2010, that number has dropped to only six.

“Bush Intercontinental Airport is designed in a manner that minimizes the number of intersecting runways and taxiways,” Case says. “That’s a tremendous advantage when trying to coordinate aircraft and it’s also the result of terrific planning.”

George Bush Intercontinental Airport handled more than 40 million passengers and more than 250,000 aircraft landings in 2010.

Airports in Cincinnati and Memphis were the only facilities to post a higher safety score than Bush Intercontinental Airport.
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