HOUSTON (Feb. 20, 2020) — Houston Airports and United Airlines pulled back the curtain on a Texas-sized United Technical Operations Center (UTOC) at Bush Airport that spans nearly six football fields under one roof. The new operations center is a part of United Airlines’ $1B investment at Bush Airport since 2013.
The nearly $200 million, 375,000-square-foot facility includes additional hangar capacity for maintaining widebody aircraft, a new warehouse distribution center, a technical service building and administrative offices.
“This facility is proof of what happens when partnerships go beyond just coming together and staying together,” Houston Airport Director Mario Diaz said. “This is what happens when we work together, especially in a city that’s growing fast.”
Diaz was joined by U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and United Airlines Vice Presidents Rodney Cox, Don Wright and John Wiitala for the grand-opening celebration. The new operation center will add hundreds of new jobs to Houston.
“Quality jobs are critical for our Houstonians,” Mayor Turner said. “Make no mistake, the work performed here is extremely important. Your team will give millions of passengers a greater sense of comfort and reliability the next time they fly. As Mayor of Houston, I have a profound appreciation for that.”
With flights from Houston going to destinations around the globe, the facility provides critical support to United’s worldwide operations. More than three years in the making, it allows United to consolidate its Houston maintenance facilities. Engineers can now work in the hangars adjacent to technicians and aircraft.
UTOC is one of many investments United Airlines continues to make at Bush Airport. In 2017, United opened a new Terminal – C North- at IAH, and will soon break ground on its new multi-million dollar baggage handling system project-- an integral part of the ongoing IAH Terminal Redevelopment Program (ITRP).
“These big investments are signals to the nation and world that Houston is only getting stronger,” Diaz said. “Our airport's connectivity is expanding, and our economy is growing. And so, our partnership with United is that much more important. We will lead the way forward as we plan to meet the growing demand for domestic and international travel in the years to come. We are putting the infrastructure in place now so that we are ahead. We are true partners who are united.”
United is the largest airline operating at Bush Airport, with more than 500 daily flights from Houston to more than 180 destinations around the world.
About Houston Airport System
Houston Airports is the City of Houston’s Department of Aviation. Comprised of George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD) / Houston Spaceport, Houston Airports served nearly 60 million passengers in 2019. Houston Airports form one of North America's largest public airport systems and position Houston as the international passenger and cargo gateway to the South Central United States and a primary gateway to Latin America. Houston is proud to be the only city in the Western Hemisphere with two Skytrax rated 4-star airports. Learn more at fly2houston.com.