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Houston Airports Present Hobby
Expansion Plans

February 7, 2013

© Houston Airport System
Expansion plans at William P. Hobby Airport call for several improvements, including the construction of a new parking garage and concourse.
Houston aviation director Mario C. Diaz presented expansion plans to City Council Members on February 4, outlining how William P. Hobby Airport will transition itself into a facility capable of accommodating international air traffic.

Given at a Houston City Council committee meeting, the presentation offered attending Council Members, and the general public, a first glance at the design plans that will eventually help make international travel at Hobby Airport a reality.

“Adding new international air service at Hobby creates competition in the Houston – Latin America market, leading to lower airfares and more travel options for the public,” Diaz says.

The plans at Hobby Airport call for the construction of a new parking garage, a new concourse, roadway modifications and expansion of the existing terminal facility. Construction is slated to be completed by the end of 2015.

City Council Members voted overwhelmingly in May 2012 to support the idea of establishing international air service at Hobby Airport, persuaded by arguments put forward by representatives from Southwest Airlines, which plans to establish routes between Houston and Latin America.

“It’s all about lowering fares and making travel more affordable,” says Southwest Airlines’ CEO Gary Kelly. “This is about competition and increasing the amount of traffic we have traveling south of the border.”

During the terminal expansion, HAS plans to build a new ticket counter, add six additional security checkpoint lanes, add five new arrival and departure gates and add a new Federal Inspections Services (FIS) facility for international travelers to go through Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The FIS facility itself will have its own baggage claim, 16 passport inspection stations and allow for 400 to 800 passengers to travel through it during peak hours. The new parking garage will have more than 2,500 parking spaces and cost about $55 million, and the roadway modifications, which will cost about $12 million, will include putting in an elevated roadway.

Construction on the project is expected to break ground this May, and vertical construction is expected to be complete in September 2015.

Click here to view the Powerpoint presentation given to City Council Members on February 4, 2013. 
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