New International Terminal Complex Underway at IAH Makes for Exceptional Experience for International Passengers
November 7, 2019

Under the umbrella of the IAH Terminal Redevelopment Program (ITRP), the new Mickey Leland International Terminal Complex (ITC) underway at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) provides for development of a new, consolidated terminal experience for all international passengers.  The program includes an International Central Processor (ICP), a renovated Terminal D concourse, a new international concourse called Pier D West, and a new Baggage Screening Facility.

“The primary goal for this new and renovated group of Central Terminal Area buildings is to create a seamless and cohesive international passenger experience,” said Bob Barker, Chief Development Officer for the Houston Airport System. 

Barker said that, for the international passenger, a fresh new aesthetic will elevate the traveler experience while remaining sensitive to the existing campus of buildings. The new design will provide a simplified, more efficient and intuitive experience and a memorable welcome to the U.S. and its fourth largest and most culturally diverse city. 

Passengers will also benefit from a simplified roadway system that is easier to navigate to and from the ICP. 

“The departing passenger will arrive at the front door under a large protective roof canopy that feels like the airport’s front porch,” said Steven Andersen, Executive Program Manager for ITRP. 

At the curbside is where passengers are introduced to a strong wayfinding motif that will guide them through each transition of their journey.  Illuminated elliptical forms will act as beacons that mark the path to and from the boarding gate.  Along this journey is an experience that reflects the unique qualities and culture of Houston. Colors and materials reflect the natural environments found in and around the region. 

Andersen said that the arriving passenger will have a new, exciting central meeter/greeter area. This area will have natural daylighting and connectivity to all levels of the ICP. This approach to daylight will also activate the arrivals curbside, allowing daylight and airflow at the lowest level.

Daylight will enter the new terminal and Pier D West in a filtered and controlled manner to provide a patterned and soft, diffused quality of light.  One of the most unique features of the new facility will be found on the west-facing wall of the Pier D West.  A mixed pattern of solid wall and glass will balance views and protection from the hot Texas, afternoon sun.  This wall will exemplify the myriad ways Houstonians find comfort in this sub-tropical climate.  This patterned wall will be used as a unifying theme throughout the different areas of the project.  “Additionally, the character of Houston will be celebrated through art, multimedia displays, and local food offerings,” Andersen said.

“The new international terminal will place high importance on a Houston sense of place, customer amenities, timeless design, flexible, sustainable space, filled with daylight and modern technology. It certainly lives up to the prestigious 4-star airport rating that Bush Airport has received from Skytrax,” Andersen continued.

Skytrax is an aviation ratings organization that has awarded IAH a 4-star rating for two consecutive years, making Houston the only city in the Western Hemisphere with two 4-star airports. William P. Hobby Airport has received the honor for the past four consecutive years.