The Houston Airports Operations team is leveraging technology, staff and law enforcement to keep traffic moving.
This summer, Houston is breaking records. The National Weather Service temperature gauges at Hobby Airport recorded 190 hours of heat index temperatures at or above 105° this June and July. And, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Houston Airports is expected to welcome about 15 million passengers to William P. Hobby Airport or George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
“While directing traffic right now is not easy because of the heat, our customers always come first,” said Celso Delgado, Landside Operations Agent for Houston Airports. “We have a lot of passengers, which is great. But sometimes, it becomes very crowded at the curb.”
A new international terminal is currently under construction at Bush Airport. Once construction is substantially completed in late 2024, roadways around the new international terminal will increase vehicle capacity by 30%. Until then, Houston Airports continues to invest in traffic mitigation resources like traffic-monitoring cameras, digital signage and overtime for law enforcement who help operations agents like Delgado and Victor Ordaz.
BUSIEST DAYS AT BUSH AIRPORT
The day before Thanksgiving
The week of Spring Break
Christmas holiday season
“It’s summertime. Everybody is traveling. We come out here to direct traffic. We wear our safety vests. Make sure we’re visible. Make sure traffic is flowing,” said Victor Ordaz, Landside Operations Agent for Houston Airports. “We are offering 5-Star customer service to all airport guests.”
This summer, Houston Airports estimates 134,000 daily passengers fly through Bush Airport. About 80,000 vehicles, including shuttle buses, move along North and South Terminal Roads. The Operations team is strategically positioned at arrival and departure curbs throughout Bush Airport’s five terminals. From redirecting drivers to the correct terminal to moving vehicles along to moving vehicles through the airport loop, “we have a lot of people who are not familiar with the airport,” said Delgado. “If we don’t guide vehicles along, drivers will stop in the middle of the street.”
Houston Airports recommends drivers wait in one of three cellphone lots around Bush Airport until their passenger is curbside with their luggage. “If you come around to the curb too early, before your passenger is outside, we’re going to have to send you around the airport,” said Delgado. “Please be patient with us. We are doing our best and trying to help all of our passengers.”