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2013 State of the Airports Highlights
“Go Global” Theme

March 8, 2013

© Houston Airport System
Houston aviation director Mario C. Diaz fielded questions from both guests and members of the media at the 2013 State of the Airports event.
Houston aviation director Mario C. Diaz focused on two important themes while addressing the crowd at the 2013 State of the Airports event, touching on the importance of “unleashing creativity” and “going global.”

The event represents a vital opportunity for key business and community leaders to gather together and hear the latest information regarding past performance and future plans at the three airport facilities which make up Houston Airports: George Bush Intercontinental Airport, William P. Hobby Airport and Ellington Airport.

“The entire Houston region benefits when we work together to form partnerships with one another,” Diaz said at the event. “The airports in Houston already carry an annual economic impact of $27.5 billion to the local economy. We believe that number can rise even higher if we work together in a collective manner.”

More than 500 guests gathered at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in southwest Houston for this year’s event. Those on hand were treated to several details regarding key projects unfolding within the Houston Airport System’s operation.

One of the key items of interest in this year’s remarks involved the establishment of international air service at Hobby Airport. Plans are underway to build a new two-story concourse building and a Customs inspection facility, so that nonstop flights to Latin American destinations can begin in 2015.

Southwest Airlines will operate four of the five gates at the new facility, with the remaining gate available to other air carriers interested in establishing international service at Hobby Airport.

“The cultural and economic ties between Houston and Latin America will get stronger in the 21st Century,” Diaz said during his remarks. “The commercial airports in Houston must play a key role in maximizing the potential that comes along with this growth trend.”

Other major topics covered in this year’s address included expansion projects at Bush Intercontinental Airport, the possibility of establishing Ellington Airport as a licensed Spaceport and the recent political debate involving sequester cuts in federal funding.
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