As the IAH Terminal Development Program (ITRP) moves forward, the separate Terminal D Improvements project has proven invaluable in keeping Bush Intercontinental Airport’s international terminal functioning at an extremely high level while planning for its’ long-term rehabilitation continues.
So says Project Manager John Allen who leads the multiphase improvements Terminal D Improvements project, which started in 2010. John has well over 40 years of professional experience, including serving for 8 years as Director of Construction for Tampa International Airport and work stints at St. Croix and Doha. This Bush Airport project relies upon the services of the award-winning Manhattan Construction Group to carry out the work and has several important components that are at varying levels of completion:
- Ticket Counter Replacement
- Ground Power Unit (GPU) Replacement
- New Restrooms
- New AMEX Elevator
- Secondary Egress for FIS
- Automated Screen Lanes
John joined the program in November 2017 and discussed the current individual projects.
“We are simply bringing the ticket and sales counters up to date,” he said, “replacing all of the old plastic laminate units with stainless steels units.” John anticipates the counter replacement will be complete in July 2018.
Major carriers requested that the Airport consider replacing the existing Ground Power Units (GPUs), which supply power to aircraft parked on the ground, and supply two portable units. After review, HAS agreed and the new GPUs became fully available for use in Terminal D in June 2018.
The Terminal D Improvements Project also includes new restrooms. “We’ve already completed two sets of restrooms, men’s and women’s,” John said, “and are currently working on the third set. We are following a modular format that allows for great flexibility and adaptability going forward - wall panels can be removed, colors can be changed, smart technology can be implemented, etc.” This portion of the project is due to be finished by the end of December 2018.
Additionally, he said that the Team is constructing a new elevator for the American Express (AMEX) Club. The AMEX Club always had a two-elevator shaft with only elevator. The new separate elevator will be ADA-compliant and is projected to be up and running by Thanksgiving 2018.
The team is working on secondary egress for the Federal Inspection Services (FIS) facility. “We are installing new interior partitions within the existing FIS Baggage Claim Area to help streamline passenger exiting and creating a separate and controlled baggage claim for passengers requiring further inspection,” John said. This addition will be complete by the end of August 2018.
In January 2018, the improvements project also added new Automated Screening Lanes (ASL) at the Terminal D Checkpoint, the first installation of this kind in the entire country. Automated screening lanes deliver both efficiency and security benefits to airport operations. The new lanes incorporate enhanced capabilities at the airport security checkpoint while improving the passenger experience. HAS had four lanes installed at Terminal D and United Airlines followed suit with four lanes at the FIS Terminal E checkpoint. The work was primarily completed in January 2018.
HAS invested in the innovative design that helps makes us safer while helping to move passengers through the security line more seamlessly. Passengers now have their own area to divest personal items for placement in bins, which allows them to move at their own pace. Conveyor belts automatically return bins to the front of the divesting area for passengers; this frees up TSA officers to remain focused on detecting threats rather than moving bins to the front of the queue. A second conveyor belt automatically separates items that pass inspection from those requiring a secondary check.
John reiterated that the greatest benefit of the improvements project is keeping the international terminal performing at such a high level while ITRP continues to progress.