ITRP improves the passenger experience for generations to come
October 25, 2022
Signage at Terminal D at Bush Airport alerts travelers to construction


Through the IAH Terminal Redevelopment Program, ITRP, George Bush Intercontinental Airport continues to rebuild today for a better tomorrow by improving the passenger experience for many generations to come. Construction is well underway on the expansive program which will accommodate international airline growth, resolve roadway and curbside capacity constraints, and vastly improve the baggage handling system. 

Airport staff and the ITRP team have successfully advanced the Program in a live operational environment through numerous obstacles, including the COVID-19 pandemic and other global market impacts such as supply chain issues and inflation. Challenges continue – but the Program is going strong. 

Overall, congestion has eased significantly as the Program finished substantial components of the roadways. Several lanes have been reopened, and that improved traffic flow dramatically. All lanes on South Terminal Road have reopened, and major carrier United Airlines has finished work on the roadway element of its Early Bag Storage building in early October. 

The work of hundreds of professionals has supported the many accomplishments of the ITRP, including the following notable milestones: 

New C North Pier Opening March 2017 

Houston Airports Infrastructure Division (PMO Bldg.) Operational April 2019 

United Airlines Vacate Old C North Pier July 2019 

Old C North Pier Abatement and Demolition Activities Commence Oct. 2019 

International Terminal Concept Design Complete Oct. 2019 

New D West Pier Construction Commences Oct. 2019 

Old C North Pier Abatement and Demolition Activities Completed July 2020 

D/E Parking Garage Closes for Demolition March 2021 

International Terminal and Central Processor Contract GMP Nov. 2021 

Current Developments Houston Airports served notice in early October that travelers would experience temporary lane closures along North Terminal Road, which leads to Terminals C, D and E. The current construction phase of the ITRP requires CenterPoint Energy to relocate and install electrical infrastructure that is critical to providing power to areas such as Terminal D and the inter-terminal tram system. The work is going well and is scheduled to be completed prior to mid-November and long before the busy Thanksgiving holiday commences.  

The lane closures were modeled and tested for impact to traffic congestion patterns, specifically during afternoon peak travel times between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Avoiding unforeseen complications, the simulations and testing found that CenterPoint’s work would have minimal impact to airport travel to and from the terminals, even during those peak hours. The modeling and simulation projections have hold true as construction has progressed. 

ITRP Concessions Passengers at Bush Airport have always been afforded a wide assortment of retail, dining, and service options. The passenger experience will be further enhanced through ITRP concessions, offering diverse culinary and retail options. Houston City Council recently gave approval to concessions contracts that are projected to generate as much as $116 million and create at least 390 jobs spread across 26 concession locations.  

"We strive to provide the best experience to our travelers and visitors,” Houston Airports Communications Director Augusto Bernal said. “The new concepts, variety and quality in food and retail establishments will undoubtedly enhance the journey through the new international terminal.” 

“The airport system continues to enhance each customer’s airport experience with new concepts as well as more choices and options,” Bernal said. 

Clearly, Change is Coming 

Visitors at Bush Airport have seen a plethora of new signage denoting the modernization of the newly developing terminal – posters, digital signage, billboards, and the like. Bernal said that it is important to keep the public fully informed. 

“Houston Airports launched a brand campaign to keep the public informed on the exciting progress of the new world-class international terminal and central processor,” Bernal said. “The campaign creates anticipation for what’s to come and keeps our travelers aware of the complexity of the Program.” 

Signage and other media include a new traffic webpage, roadway bridge banners, airport exit digital signage, temporary construction signs in the terminals, in-terminal display networks, Terminal D departures window clings, and Program videos. 

“While we recognize that there are pain points, we are making significant progress and building a one-of-a-kind, modern airport that will benefit Houston and be admired by the world,” Bernal said. 

Conclusion The ITRP features the overhaul of terminal D and a brand-new international terminal concourse that will accommodate more than 15 foreign-flag carriers and United Airlines’ international and domestic service. 

The construction of the international terminal started in 2015 with a series of enabling projects.  

Mario Diaz, Houston Airports Director, recently commented on the Program.  

“While it is exciting to be in the midst of growth and expansion, we recognize the difficulty this creates within the passenger experience,” he said. “The rewards are forthcoming, and the new facilities will be reflective of the beauty, community, and environment of Houston and will help broaden our global reach even further. ITRP will ultimately set a new bar for customer service and the consummate passenger experience.”