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George Bush Intercontinental Airport

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Title: George Bush Intercontinental Airport  
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George Bush Intercontinental Airport

George Bush Intercontinental Airport
WMO: 72243
Airport type Public
Owner City of Houston
Operator Houston Airport System
Serves Greater Houston
Location Houston, Texas, United States
Hub for
Focus city for Spirit Airlines[1]
Elevation AMSL 97 ft / 30 m
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
IAH is located in Texas
Location within Texas
Direction Length Surface
ft m
15L/33R 12,002 3,658 Concrete
15R/33L 9,999 3,048 Concrete
9/27 10,000 3,048 Concrete
8L/26R 9,000 2,743 Concrete
8R/26L 9,402 2,866 Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Passengers 41,251,015
Aircraft operations 508,935 (0.5%)

George Bush Intercontinental Airport, (

  • Houston Airport System – Bush Intercontinental Airport
  • Houston Airport System – Houston Airports Today television show
  • FAA Airport Diagram (PDF), effective June 23, 2016
  • Resources for this airport:
    • AirNav airport information for KIAH
    • ASN accident history for IAH
    • FlightAware airport information and live flight tracker
    • NOAA/NWS latest weather observations
    • SkyVector aeronautical chart for KIAH
    • FAA current IAH delay information

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

External links

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  2. ^ "Department of Aviation Monthly Statistical Summary Report for December 2014".  
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  22. ^ July 1, 1983 Official Airline Guide (OAG)
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  27. ^ "Continental Flight Powered with biofuel Takes Off".  
  28. ^ Porretto, John (January 8, 2009). "Continental Flight Powered with biofuel Takes Off".  
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  32. ^ Schlangenstein, Mary; Credeur, Mary Jane (May 30, 2012). "United to Cut 1,300 Houston Jobs as Southwest Wins New Hub".  
  33. ^ Moreno, Jenalia (December 6, 2010). "Continental Will Delay 1st Houston-New Zealand Flight". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
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  37. ^ "Houston to Gain New Direct Flights on Turkish Airlines in 2013 to Istanbul" (Press release). Houston Airport System. June 18, 2012. Archived from the original on August 25, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  38. ^ Mulvaney, Erin (February 5, 2014). "Korean Air launches nonstop service between Seoul and Houston". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Spirit Airlines reports passenger growth of 23% in H1; network grows from 133 to 170 routes, but Cleveland is only new airport". Airline Network News & Analysis. July 28, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  40. ^ "Taipei – Houston Route Non-stop flights will enhance Trans-Pacific service network" (Press release). EVA Air. December 8, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  41. ^ "HavanaAir Charters and Eastern Air Lines To Start Weekly Air Service to Cuba From Houston International Airport". PR Newswire. July 16, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Air NZ release Houston launch fares from $1400 return". The Timaru Herald. May 20, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  43. ^ https://www.nationalgeographic.comindex/geography-faqs "New Zealand is not part of the Australian continent"
  44. ^ Mulvaney, Erin (April 15, 2015). "Air New Zealand extends IAH's global reach". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  45. ^ "2005 Total Airline System Passenger Traffic Up 4.6 Percent From 2004" (Press release).  
  46. ^ "Master Plan Executive Summary". Houston Airport System. December 2006. pp. 2–1 (23/130). Retrieved December 14, 2010. 
  47. ^ Torbenson, Eric (June 14, 2006). "IAH, Fourth-Fastest Growing Airport in the World".  
  48. ^ "Best On-Time Performance in the Nation, IAH" (Press release). Houston Airport System. January 2, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  49. ^ "Houston Emerges As The Premier Gateway in the U.S. For Travelers To Mexico" (Press release). Houston Airport System. April 12, 2005. Retrieved December 30, 2006. 
  50. ^ "Home".  
  51. ^ "KIAH". Airnav. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  52. ^ a b "Beat Map" (PDF).  
  53. ^ "Contact Us". Houston Airport System. Retrieved October 23, 2011. Houston Airport System, 16930 JFK Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77032 
  54. ^ a b c d e f g "Terminal Approach" (PDF). March 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  55. ^ "Profile of a Leading Airport". Houston Airport System. Archived from the original on February 12, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  56. ^ "Terminal A Map". Houston Airport System. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  57. ^ "Terminal B Map". Houston Airport System. Retrieved October 2, 2009. 
  58. ^ "George Bush IAH Terminal B Southside Replacement". Pierce, Goodwin, Alexander & Linville. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  59. ^ Moreno, Jenalia (May 23, 2011). "Part of Bush Airport Will Finally Get A Face-Lift". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  60. ^ "Terminal B South is Open for Business" (Press release). Houston Airport System. June 4, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  61. ^ Gonzales, J. R. (November 5, 2007). "A Little on Lewis Cutrer". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved January 17, 2009. 
  62. ^ "Terminal C Map". Houston Airport System. Retrieved January 17, 2009. 
  63. ^ "Interfaith Chapels". Houston Airport System. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  64. ^ Karp, Gregory (May 13, 2015). "United Airlines announces airport projects".  
  65. ^ "United and Houston Airport System Break Ground on All-New Terminal C North at IAH" (Press release). Houston Airport System. May 11, 2015. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  66. ^ Holmes, Ann (May 12, 1990). "The Mickey Leland International Airlines Building/Architecture Strives for User Friendliness". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  67. ^ a b c d Simons, Janet (October 11, 1992). "Airport Info Houston Intercontinental Airport".  
  68. ^ "Preparing for Emirates". Houston Airport System. Archived from the original on February 12, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  69. ^ "Terminal D Map". Houston Airport System. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  70. ^ Cooper, Nakia (June 19, 2014). "Houston City Council approves plan for new international terminal at Bush IAH". ( 
  71. ^ "Terminal E Map". Houston Airport System. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  72. ^ "Auckland to Houston on sale from $699 one-way". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
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  78. ^ "Houston Express". SonAir. November 6, 2000. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  79. ^
  80. ^ "U.S. International Air Passenger and Freight Statistics Report".  
  81. ^ "Houston, TX: George Bush Intercontinental/Houston (IAH)".  
  82. ^ "Traffic Updates". Houston Airport System. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  83. ^ "$1.2 Billion in Improvements for Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport" (Press release). Houston Airport System. April 7, 2008. Archived from the original on December 24, 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  84. ^ "Non–Secure Inter–Terminal Passenger Conveyance Alternatives" (PDF). Lea Elliot, Inc. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  85. ^ Kenison, Melissa (July 17, 2013). "United Airlines offers new luxury on the ground".  
  86. ^ "Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush Intercontinental". Marriott. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  87. ^ Feser, Katherine (March 2, 2015). "Houston Airport Marriott lands a makeover". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  88. ^ a b c d "Ground Transportation". Houston Airport System. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  89. ^ "Use METRO's Airport Direct to Get to/from Houston Intercontinental Airport".  
  90. ^ "102 Bush IAH Express" (PDF).  
  91. ^ Moran, Chris (December 6, 2010). "Metro Cuts Fare and Reroutes Shuttle to IAH". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 7, 2010. 
  92. ^ Christian, Carol (June 6, 2011). "Metro Airport Link Gets Riders, but Not Revenue". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  93. ^ Christian, Carol (July 26, 2011). "Metro Moves to Eliminate Airport Direct Service". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
  94. ^ Harkinson, Josh (September 22, 2005). "Cabbieville". Houston Press. Retrieved October 8, 2009. 
  95. ^ "Portfolio:North Concourse Sculpture" (Press release).  
  96. ^ "George Bush Intercontinental Airport Renovation" (Press release). Houston Arts Alliance. June 1, 2001. Retrieved December 30, 2006. 
  97. ^ "George Bush Intercontinental Airport Renovation" (Press release). Houston Arts Alliance. June 1, 2001. Retrieved December 30, 2006. 
  98. ^ "Airport Art". Houston Airport System. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  99. ^ "Air Cargo". Houston Airport System. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  100. ^ "A Jewel for Cargo Handlers Far and Wide" (Press release). Houston Airport System. September 12, 2006. Archived from the original on December 17, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  101. ^ "Houston Launches New Air Cargo Facility at Intercontinental Airport for Perishable Imports" (Press release). Houston Airport System. PR Newswire. August 18, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  102. ^ "Houston Gains New Air Cargo Status" (Press release). Houston Airport System. April 25, 2010. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  103. ^ "The Cargo Operation at IAH Continues to Receive Worldwide Acclaim" (Press release). Houston Airport System. March 16, 2009. Archived from the original on March 23, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  104. ^ "International Air Cargo by Region". City of Houston. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  105. ^ "Timetable August 2015" (PDF). Centurion Cargo. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  106. ^ "Lufthansa Cargo Adds Houston – Stavanger One-way Service in W14". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  107. ^ "Qatar Airways expands North American cargo service". Air Cargo World. October 10, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  108. ^ "Transcarga opens Miami-Houston". 
  109. ^ "Houston Airport System, Master Plan". Houston Airport System. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2008. 
  110. ^ "Ongoing Capital Improvement Projects". Houston Airport System. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  111. ^ Lee, Renée C. (May 13, 2009). "IAH Runway Expansion Has Neighbors Fretting Over Moving".  
  112. ^ "IAH Environmental Impact Study". IAH Environmental Impact Study. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  113. ^ Lee, Renée C. (May 13, 2009). "Living in the Way of the Runway".  
  114. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 N60NA Socorro, NM". Aviation Safety Network. November 3, 1973. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  115. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  116. ^ "Flight International". Flight Global. April 24, 1976. p. 1090. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  117. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Grumman G-159 Gulfstream I N80RD Houston-Intercontinental Airport, TX (IAH)". Aviation Safety Network. August 23, 1990. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  118. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Embraer 120RT Brasilia N33701 Eagle Lake, TX". Aviation Safety Network. September 11, 1991. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  119. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 N10556 Houston-Intercontinental Airport, TX (IAH)". Aviation Safety Network. February 19, 1996. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  120. ^ Simpson, Kevin; Bunch, Joey; Pankratz, Howard (December 21, 2008). "DIA Accident Injures 38".  
  121. ^ Boniface, Dan; Wolf, Jeffrey (December 21, 2008). "Continental Flight Slides Off Runway; Dozens Injured".  
  122. ^ Boniface, Dan; Wolf, Jeffrey (December 21, 2008). "NTSB Begins Investigation into Why Plane Slid Off Runway". KUSA (TV) (Denver). Retrieved December 21, 2008. 
  123. ^ Lendon, Brad (May 3, 2013). "Houston airport shooter killed self, police say". CNN. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 


See also


  • 1973: National Airlines Flight 27: Depressurization ejected a passenger after the fan assembly disintegrated en route to McCarran International Airport.[114]
  • 1975: February 1, Douglas DC-3 N15HC of Horizon Properties crashed on approach when the port wing collided with an electricity pylon. The aircraft was on a domestic non-scheduled passenger flight from Lawton Municipal Airport, Oklahoma to Huntsville Regional Airport, Texas. Due to weather conditions, the flight was diverted to Houston. Of the 16 occupants,[115] two crew and three passengers were killed.[116]
  • 1990: Executive/Grumman G1 Operated by Rowan Drilling Company: Power loss in engine after take-off resulted in a failed attempt to regain altitude en route to New Orleans International Airport. The aircraft crashed on departure from Runway 15L and came to rest midfield along a parallel taxiway. There were three fatalities.[117]
  • 1991: Continental Express Flight 2574 (Britt Airways): Broke into pieces en route from Laredo to Houston Intercontinental. There were 14 fatalities.[118]
  • On February 19, 1996, a Continental Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 operating as Continental Airlines Flight 1943 from Ronald Reagan National Airport arriving in Houston, Texas landed with its landing gear in the stowed position on Runway 27. The aircraft slid for 6,915 feet (2,108 m) on its belly before coming to a stop on the runway 140 feet (43 m) left of the runway centerline approximately at the departure end of the runway. There were no fatalities and only minor injuries. The aircraft was written off.[119]
  • On December 20, 2008, a Continental Airlines Boeing 737-500 operating as Flight 1404 from Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado to Bush Airport overran Runway 34R, and caught fire during its takeoff roll. There was no snow or ice on the runway; however, there were 31-knot (36 mph) crosswinds at the time of the accident. On July 13, 2010 the NTSB report stated that the probable cause of this accident was the captain's cessation of right rudder input, which was needed to maintain directional control of the airplane, about 4 seconds before the excursion, when the airplane encountered a strong and gusty crosswind that exceeded the captain's training and experience. Of the 115 people on board, at least 38 sustained injuries, at least two of these were injured critically.[120][121][122]
  • On May 2, 2013, gunman Carnell Marcus Moore of Beaumont, Texas, fired shots from a Glock semi-automatic pistol into the ceiling of a terminal. A Homeland Security officer fired upon and wounded Moore in the right shoulder before Moore shot himself. There was an AR-15 rifle in a suitcase that was not used, while a suicide note was found stating he had a "monster within" and he wanted police to stop him before he hurt others[123]

The following involved flights departing or arriving at the airport or incidents within the terminal buildings:

Incidents and accidents

Airfield improvements include a new Runway 8C-26C, a new Runway 9R-27L, a perimeter taxiway, and access roadways.[111][112] If the FAA selects new sites for runways, the FAA may buy land from the Glen Lee Place and Heather Ridge Village subdivisions, which are located off of Lee Road.[113]

The long-term plans call for the existing unit terminals to be demolished and the North and South Concourses to be linked midway. Soon after, all of the facilities in the North and South Concourses will be linked together to form two long continuous facilities. In addition, a new Central Passenger Processing facility will also be built, called the East Terminal along with an underground people mover.

The city of Houston presented its master plan update for IAH in 2005.[109] The near-term plan calls for Terminal B's circular flight stations to be rebuilt into linear facilities similar to Terminal A. Construction of a new 155,000-square-foot (14,400 m2) pier at Terminal D, capable of handling six additional wide body aircraft, is slated for completion in 2016.[110]

Master plan

Airlines Destinations
ABX Air (DHL) Cincinnati, Miami
Air Cargo Carriers Austin
Air France Cargo Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Atlas Air Luanda, Luxembourg, Miami
Ameriflight New Orleans
Ameristar Air Cargo Laredo, Minneapolis/St.Paul
Baron Aviation Services (FedEx Feeder) College Station
Cargolux Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Glasgow-Prestwick, Guadalajara, Luxembourg, Mexico City, Miami, New York–JFK
Cathay Pacific Cargo Anchorage, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami
Centurion Air Cargo[105] Amsterdam, Caracas, Miami
China Airlines Cargo Anchorage, Chicago–O'Hare, Miami
Emirates SkyCargo Copenhagen, Dubai–Al Maktoum, Mexico City, Zaragoza
FedEx Express El Paso, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Memphis
Lufthansa Cargo (AeroLogic) Frankfurt, Stavanger [106]
Martinaire (UPS) Addison, San Antonio
Polar Air Cargo Los Angeles, Panama City
Qatar Airways Cargo[107] Doha, Liège, Luxembourg, Mexico City
Southern Air Miami
Transcarga[108] Miami
UPS Airlines Chicago/Rockford, Louisville

Freight airlines

  • Europe 44%
  • Asia 23%
  • Middle East 16%
  • Africa 8%
  • Latin America 7%
  • North America 1%[104]

Trade data

For five years in a row, Air Cargo Inc has honored Bush Intercontinental Airport with the ACE Award for Excellence in the category of airports with less than 500,000 tons of air cargo annually.[103]

The facility also includes the International Air CargoCenter II, a 60,000 sq ft (5,600 m2) perishable cargo handling facility. It is located in the IAH CargoCenter and offer direct ramp access for cargo airlines as well as importers and distributors of perishable goods.[101] The center is recoginized as an official Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF).[102]

The facility can handle up to 20 widebody aircraft at one time and has expanded to an operational area of 880,000 sq ft (82,000 m2) over the last five years. The CargoCenter has its own separate Federal Inspection Facitilty (FIS) that houses Customs, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), United States Department of Agriculture, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.[100]

[99] In January 2003, the

George Bush Intercontinental ranks as the 12th-largest gateway in the United States in terms of international air cargo moved. The facility moved 389,075 metric tons of cargo in 2010.[3]


The distance between each "spike" and this point is relative to the distance between Houston and the capital of the country the flags represent. The countries represented are the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Canada, Italy and Germany, as well as the European community and the columns lean at a ten-degree angle toward a central point that represents Houston.[98] The airport has a display of lighted modern sculptures between terminals C and D.[67]

Lights Spikes Jay Baker, shown in the photo, was created for the 1990 George R. Brown Convention Center.

The elevators in Terminal B are cased in stainless steel accordion shaped structures designed by Rachel Hecker.[97] The corridor leading to Terminal B has Dixie Friend Gay's "Houston Bayou." This work is composed of an 8 ft × 75 ft (2.4 m × 22.9 m) Byzantine glass mosaic mural depicting scenes from Houston's bayous and wetlands, several bronze animals embedded in the floor, and five mosaic columns.

Ed Carpenter's "Light Wings", a multicolored glass sculpture suspended below a sky light, adorns the Terminal A North Concourse.[95] In Terminal A, South Concourse stands Terry Allen's "Countree Music." Allen's piece is a cast bronze tree that plays instrumental music by Joe Ely and David Byrne, though the music is normally turned off. The corridor leading to Terminal A displays Leamon Green's "Passing Through," a 200-foot (61 m) etched glass wall depicting airport travelers.[96]

Flag posts of G7 member countries plus the European Union titled "Light Spikes" located outside the airport entrance


Taxi drivers at Bush airport wait longer to be dispatched for pickups of passengers than drivers at other airports in major U.S. cities. Josh Harkinson of the Houston Press said "Houston cabbies can easily wait six hours." The lives of many taxi drivers working at the airport revolve around the airport's taxi lot, nicknamed "Cabbieville." Taxi drivers servicing the airport come from many countries around the world.[94]

Taxis can be hailed through the Ground Transportation employees outside each terminal. All destinations within Houston's city limits to/from Bush Intercontinental Airport are charged according to the flat Zone Rate or the meter rate.[88] Within a 15-minute cab ride, one can access Deerbrook Mall in Humble and the Greenspoint business district. Within a 45-minute cab ride, one can access the Houston Museum District, The Galleria, and the city arboretum.[67]


[88] Regularly scheduled bus and shuttle service is provided by various carriers to locations from IAH to

Shuttle service

Courtesy vans are operated by various hotels and motels in and around the Houston Area. There are courtesy telephones in the baggage claim areas to request pick-up for most hotels and motels.[88]

Courtesy vans

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas, or METRO, offers bus service available at the south side of Terminal C. The 102 Bush IAH Express serves the airport. Previously, METRO also operated an express bus service known as Airport Direct, launched in the summer of 2008, which traveled from Downtown Houston to Terminal C via the HOV lane of the Eastex Freeway (I-69)/(US 59).[88][89][90] In 2010, in an effort to increase ridership and maximize revenue, METRO reduced the fare of Airport Direct and closed a dedicated passenger plaza for the service in Downtown Houston; instead, the bus stopped at several downtown hotels.[91] The fare each way was reduced from $15 to $4.50. The fare change increased ridership levels but decreased cash flow. METRO consistently provided the service at an operational loss.[92] However, in the summer of 2011, METRO announced that it was discontinuing the Airport Direct service, while the Route 102 local service (which serves the greater Greenspoint business and residential district before traveling on I-45 to access downtown) continued to operate.[93]


From Interstate 69/U.S. Route 59 (Eastex Freeway) to Beltway 8 or to Will Clayton Parkway, and access the airport from either road. From Downtown one could also take Interstate 45 (North Freeway), connect to Beltway 8, and enter the airport from the Beltway.[67] The Hardy Toll Road has an exit from the north or south to the airport.


Main entrance to the airport

Ground transportation

The airport houses an on-site hotel, a Marriott, between Terminals B and C and is accessible via the inter-terminal train. The hotel has 566 rooms, two restaurants, a cocktail lounge, a coffee shop and a conference center.[86] The hotel is currently undergoing a total hotel renovation, set to be completed in December 2015. There will be a new lobby, restaurant and bar, and all new sleeping rooms.[87]


In addition United Airlines has started a VIP terminal transportation service for elite status customers, using Mercedes Benz vehicles.[85]

An underground inter-terminal train outside of the sterile zone connects all five terminals and the airport hotel which can be accessed by all. This system is based on the WEDway PeopleMover technology developed by the Walt Disney Company.[84]

An above ground train called TerminaLink connects Terminals A, B, C, D, E and the International Arrivals Building (IAB) for those with connecting flights in different terminals and provides sterile airside connections. This allows passengers to travel within the airport without having to re-enter security. TerminaLink has four stops: Terminal A, Terminal B, Terminal C, and Terminals D/E including the IAB. The airport has expanded the line to Terminal A at a cost of US $100 million. Construction began on the extension in early 2008 and was completed in 2010.[83]

TerminaLink train that runs between terminals.

Terminal transportation

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport, 1987 thru 2014[82]
Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers
2010 40,479,569 2000 35,251,372 1990 17,515,813
2009 40,007,354 1999 33,051,248 1989 16,013,660
2008 41,708,580 1998 31,017,804 1988 15,109,521
2007 42,998,040 1997 28,678,153 1987 15,388,667
2006 42,550,432 1996 26,460,192
2005 39,716,583 1995 24,690,166
2014 41,251,015 2004 36,513,098 1994 22,456,792
2013 39,799,414 2003 34,208,170 1993 20,173,941
2012 39,890,756 2002 33,913,759 1992 19,349,310
2011 40,187,442 2001 34,763,443 1991 18,127,395

Annual traffic

Busiest domestic routes from Houston Intercontinental (August 2014 - July 2015)[81]
Rank City Passengers Top carriers
1 Los Angeles, CA 775,000 American, Spirit, United
2 Denver, CO 697,000 Frontier, Spirit, United
3 Chicago, IL 660,000 American, Spirit, United
4 San Francisco, CA 558,000 Frontier, United
5 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 556,000 American, United
6 Atlanta, GA 538,000 Delta, Spirit, United
7 Newark, NJ 479,000 United
8 Las Vegas, NV 430,000 Spirit, United
9 Orlando, FL 428,000 Spirit, United
10 Phoenix, AZ 423,000 Frontier, United, US Airways

Top domestic destinations

Busiest international routes from Houston Intercontinental (2014)[80]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Mexico City, Mexico 705,663 Aeromexico, United
2 Cancún, Mexico 586,043 Aeromexico, United, VivaAerobus
3 London (Heathrow), United Kingdom 576,636 British Airways, United
4 Calgary, Canada 419,406 Air Canada, United
5 Frankfurt, Germany 410,613 Lufthansa, United
6 Amsterdam, Netherlands 327,824 KLM, United
7 San Jose, Costa Rica 296,117 United
8 Monterrey, Mexico 284,395 Aeromexico, Interjet, United, VivaAerobus
9 Toronto, Canada 263,993 Air Canada, United
10 Tokyo (Narita), Japan 240,791 United
11 San Salvador, El Salvador 235,946 Avianca El Salvador, United
12 Guatemala City, Guatemala 233,036 United
13 Guadalajara, Mexico 213,384 United
14 Panama City, Panama 197,173 United
15 Dubai, United Arab Emirates 196,677 Emirates
16 Istanbul (Atatürk), Turkey 190,716 Turkish Airlines
17 Bogotá, Colombia 183,912 United
18 San José del Cabo, Mexico 173,453 United
19 Liberia, Costa Rica 169,501 United
20 Belize City, Belize 166,515 United
21 Managua, Nicaragua 165,584 United
22 Rio de Janeiro (Galeão), Brazil 163,832 United
23 Doha, Qatar 160,206 Qatar Airways
24 Vancouver, Canada 158,456 United
25 Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France 149,151 Air France
26 Beijing, China 145,097 Air China
A United Airlines Boeing 787-8 parked at a Terminal E gate
Destinations with service from IAH

Top international destinations


United Airlines offers thrice-daily bus service to Beaumont, TX, which replaced its air service on July 1, 2012. EVA Air offers luxury bus service from the Dallas-Fort Worth metro to feed its IAH-TPE route.[79]

Atlas Air offers a thrice-weekly Boeing 747-400 scheduled charter service to Luanda, Angola in Africa on behalf of SonAir. Atlas Air replaced World Airways in June 2010 with World having previously operated McDonnell Douglas MD-11 aircraft on the route.[77] These charter flights are intended to service companies operating in the oil industry in Angola which are members of the US/Africa Energy Association (USAEA).[78]

Other services

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aeroméxico Seasonal: Cancún, Mexico City D
Aeroméxico Connect Mexico City, Monterrey D
Air Canada Express Calgary, Toronto–Pearson A
Air China Beijing–Capital D
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle D
Air New Zealand Auckland (begins December 15, 2015)[72] D
Alaska Airlines Seattle/Tacoma A
All Nippon Airways Tokyo–Narita D
American Airlines Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix
Seasonal: Chicago–O'Hare
American Eagle Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Philadelphia A
Avianca El Salvador Cali, San Salvador
Seasonal: Roatán
British Airways London–Heathrow D
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Salt Lake City
Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul
Delta Connection Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, Salt Lake City A
Emirates Dubai-International D
EVA Air Taipei-Taoyuan D
Frontier Airlines Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando (begins December 19, 2015),[73] San Francisco
Seasonal: Philadelphia, Phoenix
Interjet Mexico City, Monterrey D
KLM Amsterdam D
Korean Air Seoul-Incheon D
Lufthansa Frankfurt D
Qatar Airways Doha D
SeaPort Airlines El Dorado (AR) A
Singapore Airlines Moscow–Domodedovo, Singapore D
operated by Atlas Air
Charter: Luanda D
Spirit Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Cancún, Chicago–O'Hare, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Kansas City (ends November 30, 2015), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Managua, New Orleans, Oakland, Orlando, San Diego, San José de Costa Rica, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Tampa
Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul, San José del Cabo, Toluca/Mexico City
A, D
Texas Sky Airways
operated by CFM
Victoria (TX) (begins January 4, 2016)[74] A
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk D
United Airlines Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte (begins December 17, 2015),[75] Chicago–O'Hare, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, McAllen, Memphis (begins December 17, 2015),[76] Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York–LaGuardia, Newark, Oklahoma City, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Juan, Seattle/Tacoma, Tampa, Tulsa, Washington–Dulles, Washington–National
Seasonal: Albuquerque, Anchorage, Detroit, Eagle/Vail, Gunnison/Crested Butte, Indianapolis, Hayden/Steamboat Springs, Jackson Hole, Minneapolis/St Paul, Montrose, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham, Reno/Tahoe, St. Thomas, West Palm Beach
C, E
United Airlines Lima, London–Heathrow, Managua, Mérida, Mexico City, Montego Bay, Munich, Nassau, Panama City, Port of Spain, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Quito, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Roatán, San José de Costa Rica, San José del Cabo, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Santiago de Chile, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Tegucigalpa, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver
Seasonal: Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Providenciales
C, E
United Express Albuquerque, Alexandria, Amarillo, Atlanta, Austin, Bakersfield, Baton Rouge, Birmingham (AL), Boise, Brownsville, Calgary, Charleston (SC), Charleston (WV), Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, College Station, Colorado Springs, Columbia (SC), Columbus (OH), Corpus Christi, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, El Paso, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Fort Walton Beach, Grand Junction, Grand Rapids, Greenville/Spartanburg, Gulfport/Biloxi, Harlingen, Hartford/Springfield, Hobbs, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jackson (MS), Jacksonville (FL), Kansas City, Killeen/Fort Hood, Knoxville, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Laredo, Lexington, Little Rock, Louisville, Lubbock, McAllen, Memphis, Midland–Odessa, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Mobile, Monroe, Nashville, New Orleans, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Ontario, Panama City (FL), Pensacola, Peoria, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Savannah, Shreveport, St. Louis, Tucson, Tulsa, Tyler, Washington–Dulles, West Palm Beach, Wichita, Williston
Seasonal: Aspen, Bozeman, Fort Myers, Jackson Hole, Miami, Montrose, Orlando, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Rapid City, Reno/Tahoe
A, B
United Express Acapulco, Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Ciudad del Carmen, Durango, Guadalajara, Huatulco, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, León/Del Bajío, Manzanillo, Mexico City, Monterrey, Montréal–Trudeau, Morelia, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, San José del Cabo, San Luis Potosí, Tampico, Toronto–Pearson, Torreón/Gómez Palacio, Veracruz, Villahermosa
Seasonal: Nassau
A, B, E
Vacation Express
operated by Sunwing Airlines
Seasonal: Freeport D
VivaAerobus Guadalajara, Monterrey D
Volaris Guadalajara D
WestJet Calgary A


Airlines and destinations

Terminal E is IAH's newest terminal. It was designed by Corgan Associates and Spencer Partnership Architects,[54] and it opened in two phases. The first phase opened in 2002 with 14 gates, and the second phase added 16 gates in 2003 for a total of 30.[71] United operates one large, 3-floor United Club in Terminal E, between Gates E11 and E12. Originally Continental (before merging with United) used the terminal solely for domestic flights, but it relocated international operation to the new terminal after the new Federal Inspection Service (FIS) building opened. The terminal was designed for maximum flexibility, with jetways designed to be able to handle any aircraft.

Terminal E serves as United Airlines' main base of international operations, in addition to some United Express international arrivals and some larger mainline domestic operations. (Currently, all United international mainline flights arrive at Terminal E while all United Express international flights arrive at Terminals D or E, then depart out of Terminal A, B or C.)

Terminal E

Terminal E

On June 18, 2014, Houston City Council unanimously passed a memorandum of agreement establishing plans to demolish the existing Terminal D building and construct a new facility on the same site.[70] Plans call for the terminal to have gates for 15 large wide-body jets, including four Airbus A380 capable gates, as well as a more open design and modern appearance. Construction on Terminal D will not start until the Terminal C North Concourse Project is finished in 2017.

In Terminal D airlines share gates, ticket counters, and terminal equipment, making it a "common use" facility. It is the first "common use facility" to be established in the United States. The Terminal D food court is located in the departures area.[67] In 2007 the airport authority began renovations in which 20 additional common-use ticket counters, upscale retail and restaurant shops, and new on-airport spa/beauty lounge will be added over the next few years.[68] Terminal D has 12 gates and several international lounges, including two separate British Airways Galleries Lounges (First and Club), a Lufthansa Senator, a KLM Crown, an Air France, and an Executive Lounge for Singapore, Emirates, Qatar, and Lufthansa.[69]

Opened in 1990 as the International Arrivals Building (IAB) and later renamed the Mickey Leland International Arrivals Building, the US$95 million terminal was designed by Golemon and Folfe Architects, Pierce Goodwin Alexander, James L. Marshall Associates, and Molina and Associates.[66] The IAB, equipped with a Federal Inspection Facility (FIS) and US Customs services, consolidated all international arrivals into one terminal (until Continental moved its international operations to Terminal E/FIS)

Terminal D (also known as Mickey Leland Terminal) serves all non-United international operations, plus some United Express international arrivals.

Corridor leading to Terminal E and Terminal D

Terminal D

It was the third terminal to open at the airport following A and B in 1981. It was designed by the Houston firm of Airport Architects, a joint venture of Golemon & Rolfe Architects and Pierce and Pierce Architects.[54] The airline operate two United Clubs in the terminal - by gate C33 in the South Concourse and by gate C24 in the North Concourse. Terminal C has 31 gates.[62] The terminal includes the airport's interfaith chapel.[63] The terminal underwent renovations from 2000 to 2005 and was designed by Gensler.[54] On May 11, 2015, the airport broke ground on the airport's new Terminal C north concourse, which is expected to be completed in early 2017.[64][65]

Terminal C (also known as Lewis W. Cutrer Terminal[61]) serves as United Airlines' main base of domestic operations, plus serves some United Express domestic operations and international departures.

Terminal C

The terminal underwent minor renovations from 1997 to 2001, designed by Gensler.[54] In 2011 the City of Houston announced that it would demolish the gate areas of Terminal B and rebuild them. The architect for the project is Pierce, Goodwin, Alexander & Linville.[58] The first phase of the terminal's renovation broke ground on January 23, 2012.[59] Phase one of the project was completed in April 2013, and the first 15 gates of the new South Concourse opened for operations on May 21, 2013.[60] The remaining gates have been completed and put in use as of 2014. This brings the total number of gates on the South Concourse to 30 (both types).

It was also one of the original two terminals of the airport to open in 1969 and was also designed by Goleman & Rolfe and George Pierce-Abel B. Pierce.[54] It is mostly an unaltered terminal from its original design and is now used solely by United Express commuter flights. For this reason, the jet bridges are considerably lower to the ground than most others. There are 37 gates and 20 hardstand gates.[57]

Terminal B serves most United Express domestic operations and international departures. United Express is the only tenant of Terminal B

Terminal B

Terminal B

It was one of the original two terminals to open in 1969 and was designed by Goleman & Rolfe and George Pierce-Abel B. Pierce.[54] Like Terminal B, it originally had four circular modules (called "Flight Stations" locally) at the end of corridors radiating out of the corners of the terminal. However, in the late-1990s and early-2000s, the North and South Concourses were rebuilt into linear facilities which provide a smoother operation within the terminal. The project was completed in 2002 and was designed by Gensler.[54] Terminal A has 20 gates, with 10 gates in the North Concourse[55] and 10 gates in the South Concourse.[56] Food and retail areas are located in the center of each concourse. A small United Club is found in the North concourse.

Terminal A serves all non-United domestic and Canadian operations, in addition to some United Express domestic operations and international departures.

Terminal A

Terminal A

The airport has a total of five terminals encompassing 250 acres (1.0 km2), with a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) distance from Terminal A to Terminal D.

There are three main entrances into IAH's terminal areas. John F. Kennedy Boulevard is the main north-south artery into the airport and intersects with Greens Road becoming an expressway leading to the terminals (by traveling east on Greens Road, one can access the nearby Greenspoint business and residential district). Will Clayton Parkway, which runs east to west, is another main road for IAH. Interstate 69/U.S. Highway 59 (I-69/US 59) is connected to IAH by Will Clayton Parkway. The Hardy Tollway Connector runs from west to east connecting JFK Boulevard to the Hardy Toll Road.


The Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center, located on the airport grounds at 16600 JFK Boulevard,[50] serves as the region's ARTCC.[51][52] The HAS administrative offices are also on the airport property.[52][53]

[49], the airport offers service to more Mexican destinations than any other United States airport.Mexico As of 2007, with 31 destinations in [48] report.United States Department of Transportation Bush Intercontinental ranks first among the major United States airports with the highest on-time performance, according to a 2010 [47] The airport currently ranks fourth in the United States for non-stop domestic and international service with 182 destinations and about 45 percent of the airport's passengers begin or terminate (O&D) their journey at the airport.[46].Waller, and Montgomery, Liberty, Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend, Chambers, Brazoria counties: Greater Houston (HAS) states that the airport's service area includes the following Houston Airport System The [45] and the [3] in 2011 making the airport the 10th busiest for total passengers in North America. IAH is the 7th largest international passenger gateway in the US[5] George Bush Intercontinental Airport served 40,187,442 passengers

The Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center is on the airport grounds
George Bush Intercontinental Airport control tower


On April 15, 2015, Air New Zealand announced that they would begin nonstop flights from Auckland to Houston with Boeing 777-200ER aircraft beginning December 15, 2015.[42] Houston becomes the first airport in the Americas and fifth in the world to have nonstop flights to all inhabitable continents.[43][44]

In January 2015, United Airlines expressed interest in opening direct flights between Houston, and Havana, Cuba, after President Barack Obama originally announced the change in U.S. policy on Cuba on Dec. 17, as part of a larger deal that secured the release of Alan Gross, an American government subcontractor who was imprisoned on the island for five years. The flights are currently pending approval from the Department of Transportation. On July 16, 2015, the new Eastern Air Lines (2015) announced that it would begin a weekly service to Havana from Houston, in cooperation with HavanaAir Charters utilizing Boeing 737-800 aircraft, beginning on August 12, 2015. The service was announced to have been delayed as of August 11, 2015, with no announcement of a new date.[41]

On September 17, 2014, Frontier Airlines released that they would begin to base aircraft from Bush, for their new Phoenix and San Francisco services, with the possibility of more destinations from Houston to come in the future.

In 2014, Taiwan-based carrier EVA Air announced that it will launch nonstop flights from Houston to Taipei on June 19, 2015 initially with three flights a week, on the 777-300ER. The frequency will be increased to four times a week starting July 1, 2015.[40] These flights will leave Houston in the early morning, about an hour past midnight. This will mark the first time that nonstop flights will commence between Taipei and any airport in Texas. In addition, All Nippon Airways also announced new 2015 service in 2014 from Narita International Airport. Flights on the 777-300ER began on June 12, 2015, with ANA becoming the first Japanese-based carrier to operate passenger flights into IAH. On June 19, 2014, Emirates announced that it would become the second operator of the Airbus A380 at Bush, upgrading its service from Dubai to Houston from a Boeing 777 to the "Super Jumbo" A380. Service began on December 3, 2014.

On April 24, 2014, Spirit Airlines announced new services from Houston, to 6 new domestic destinations, including Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Kansas City, New Orleans and San Diego. In addition, Spirit added seasonal service between Houston and Minneapolis. These new flights bring their total destinations from Houston to 12 locations, which makes Spirit the second largest domestic airline by destinations at Houston's IAH, behind United Airlines. During September 2014, Spirit sought approval from the US Department of Transportation (DoT) to launch service from Houston Intercontinental to Managua, San José, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Cancun, San José del Cabo and Toluca. Spirit Airlines with the addition of the above-mentioned routes has increased Houston Intercontinental Airport's placement from the ninth largest focus city to the fifth largest focus city based upon the number of flights flown per week.[39] Spirit Airlines experienced growth of 123% in weekly flight departures at Houston Intercontinental from August 2014 to August 2015.

On March 31, 2014, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) announced that it would begin nonstop flights between Stavanger, Norway and Houston. This is the first time the airline has opened a route from one of its non-hub cities. The aircraft will be a leased Boeing 737 BBJ from PrivatAir. The aircraft will operate in SAS colors in a 44-seat all business class configuration. SAS subsequently began offering this new service but has now announced these flights will end on October 24, 2015.

Korean Air commenced nonstop flights from Seoul-Incheon to Houston on May 2, 2014.[38] Among other continental-Asia destinations, Singapore Airlines offers nonstop Boeing 777-300 service between Houston and Moscow with continuing, no change of plane service to its hub in Singapore; Qatar Airways flies a nonstop Houston-Doha route utilizing a Boeing 777-200; and Emirates flies nonstop from Houston to Dubai with the Airbus A380.

Houston also gained nonstop flights to Turkey when Turkish Airlines launched nonstop service to Istanbul-Atatürk on April 1, 2013.[37]

On July 11, 2013, Air China began nonstop flights from Houston to Beijing-Capital using a Boeing 777-300ER. This is the airport's first nonstop route to mainland China.[36]

Houston became the sixth U.S. city to have Airbus A380 service when Lufthansa transitioned its Houston-Frankfurt route from a Boeing 747-400 to an A380 service on August 1, 2012.[35]

In 2011 Continental Airlines began Boeing 777-200 service to Lagos, Nigeria; this was the airport's first nonstop flight to the African continent although South African Airways had operated nonstop Boeing 747SP service in 1983 between IAH and Amilcar Cabral International Airport in the Cape Verde islands off the coast of Africa as a refueling stop for its flights between Houston and Johannesburg, South Africa.[30][31] Continental was also planning to commence Boeing 787 service nonstop to Auckland, New Zealand but plans for the Auckland service were cancelled as a reaction to new international flights at Hobby Airport announced by Southwest Airlines.[32] United Airlines—which acquired Continental and had fully integrated it into the United brand by early 2012—had postponed the introduction of this service owing to delays associated with the Boeing 787,[33] but still hasn't begun the service with seven 787 Dreamliners currently in its fleet (as of November 2013). Its 787s have been put to use on other international routes, however, including Houston-London and United's new Houston-Lagos flights. The IAH-Auckland nonstop route has since been announced by Air New Zealand using a Boeing 777-200ER.[34] In 2014, United Airlines added a second daily flight to Tokyo, new routes to Munich, Germany, Santiago, Chile and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and restarted the Aruba route (which had been canceled in 2012).

In December 2009 the Houston City Council approved a plan to allow Midway Cos. to develop 10 acres (4.0 ha) of land owned by Houston Airport System on the grounds of Bush Airport. Midway plans to develop a travel center for the airport's rental car facility. The city dictated that the developer needed to place a convenience store and gas station facility, a flight information board, a fast casual restaurant, and a sit-down restaurant. Beyond the required buildings, the developer plans to add an office facility between 20,000 and 40,000 square feet (1,900 and 3,700 m2) and additional retail; the developer may add a hotel.[29]

On January 7, 2009, a Continental Airlines Boeing 737-800 departing Bush Intercontinental was the first U.S. commercial jet to fly on a mix of conventional jet fuel and biofuel.[27][28]

As of 2007, Terminals A and B remain from the original design of the airport. Lewis W. Cutrer Terminal C opened in 1981, the Mickey Leland International Arrivals Building (now called Terminal D) opened in May 1990, and the new Terminal E partially opened on June 3, 2003. The rest of Terminal E opened on January 7, 2004. Terminal D is the arrival point for all international flights arriving into Houston except for United flights, which use Terminal E. Terminal D also held customs and INS until the opening of the new Federal Inspection Service (FIS) building, completed on January 25, 2005.[26]

[25] On August 28, 1990,

[24][4] In the late 1980s, Houston City Council considered a plan to rename the airport after

By July 1983, the number of domestic and international air carriers serving Intercontinental had grown substantially. American, Continental, Delta and Eastern had been joined by Piedmont Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Trans World Airlines (TWA), United Airlines, USAir (now US Airways which is currently in the process of being merged into American Airlines) and Western Airlines.[21] Western was operating daily McDonnell Douglas DC-10 wide body jet service nonstop to Salt Lake City at this time with this flight also offering direct one stop service to Anchorage.[22] International service was being operated by Air Canada, Aviateca, British Caledonian Airways, Continental Airlines, Eastern Air Lines, SAHSA, South African Airways, TACA (now Avianca El Salvador) and VIASA in addition to Pan Am, KLM Royal Dutch, Air France, Aeromexico and Cayman Airways.[23] Several commuter and regional airlines were also operating passenger service at this time from IAH including Emerald Air (operating as Pan Am Express), Metro Airlines, Rio Airways and Royale Airlines.[21] Metro Airlines was operating "cross-town" shuttle service with de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter turboprops with up to seventeen round trip flights a day between IAH and the Clear Lake City STOLport located near the NASA Johnson Space Center and also up to nine round trip flights a day between the airport and Sugar Land Regional Airport as well as other flights to regional destinations in Texas and Louisiana.[21] In addition, at this same time the airport had scheduled helicopter airline service operated by Executive Helicopters with Bell 206L "Long Ranger" helicopters to four Houston-area heliports with up to 36 round trip flights a day.[21]

At the time of the opening of IAH in 1969, domestic scheduled passenger airline service was being operated by American Airlines, Braniff International Airways, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Eastern Air Lines, National Airlines and Houston-based Texas International Airlines which had formerly operated as Trans-Texas Airways (TTa).[10] International service at this time was being flown by Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) with ten nonstop flights a week operated with Boeing 707 jetliners to Mexico City, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines operating Douglas DC-8 jets four days a week to Amsterdam via an intermediate stop in Montreal, Braniff International with Boeing 727 service several times a week to Panama City, Panama and Aeronaves de Mexico (now Aeromexico) flying Douglas DC-9 jets to Monterrey, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and Mexico City several days a week.[11][12][13][14] Texas International was also operating direct, no change of plane service to Mexico at this time with Douglas DC-9 jet service to Monterrey and Convair 600 turboprop flights to Tampico and Veracruz.[15] KLM Royal Dutch introduced Boeing 747 service in 1971 and by 1974 Air France was operating four nonstop Boeing 747 flights a week to both Paris and Mexico City.[16][17] Also in 1974, Continental and National were operating McDonnell Douglas DC-10 wide body jetliners into IAH while Delta was flying Lockheed L-1011 TriStar wide body jets with both types being operated on respective domestic routes from the airport by these airlines.[18] By the late 1970s, Cayman Airways had begun nonstop service between Grand Cayman in the Caribbean and Intercontinental with stretched British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven series 500 twin jets.[19] Cayman Airways served the airport for many years, operating a variety of aircraft including Boeing 727-200, 737-200, 737-300, 737-400 and Douglas DC-8 jetliners into IAH in addition to the BAC One-Eleven.[20]

Houston Intercontinental had been scheduled to open in 1967, but design changes regarding the terminals created cost overruns and construction delays. The prime contractor, R.F. Ball Construction of San Antonio, sued the city of Houston for $11 million in damages, but assistant city attorney Joseph Guy Rollins, Jr. successfully defended the municipality on appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.[9]

Houston Intercontinental Airport, which was the original name for IAH, opened in June 1969.[4] All scheduled passenger airline service formerly operated from William P. Hobby Airport moved to Intercontinental upon the airport's completion. Hobby remained open as a general aviation airport and was once again used for scheduled passenger airline flights two years later when Southwest Airlines initiated intrastate jet service between Hobby and Dallas Love Field in 1971.[8]

The Houston Airport System Administration Building is located on the airport grounds

The City of Houston annexed the Bush Airport area in 1965. This annexation, along with the 1965 annexations of the Bayport area, the Fondren Road area, and an area west of Sharpstown, resulted in a total gain of 51,251 acres (20,741 ha) of land for the city limits.[7]

The site for Bush Intercontinental Airport was originally purchased by a group of Houston businessmen in 1957 to preserve the site until the city of Houston could formulate a plan for a second airport, supplanting what was then known as Houston Municipal Airport (later renamed William P. Hobby Airport). The holding company for the land was named the Jet Era Ranch Corporation, but a typographical error transformed the words "Jet Era" into "Jetero" and the airport site subsequently became known as the Jetero airport site. Although the name Jetero was no longer used in official planning documents after 1961, the eastern entrance to the airport was named Jetero Boulevard. Most of Jetero Boulevard was subsequently renamed Will Clayton Parkway.



  • History 1
  • Operations 2
  • Terminals 3
    • Terminal A 3.1
    • Terminal B 3.2
    • Terminal C 3.3
    • Terminal D 3.4
    • Terminal E 3.5
  • Airlines and destinations 4
    • Passenger 4.1
    • Other services 4.2
  • Statistics 5
    • Top international destinations 5.1
    • Top domestic destinations 5.2
    • Annual traffic 5.3
  • Terminal transportation 6
  • Hotels 7
  • Ground transportation 8
    • Automobile 8.1
    • Bus 8.2
    • Courtesy vans 8.3
    • Shuttle service 8.4
    • Taxi 8.5
  • Artwork 9
  • Freight 10
    • Trade data 10.1
    • Freight airlines 10.2
  • Master plan 11
  • Incidents and accidents 12
  • Gallery 13
  • See also 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16

George Bush Intercontinental Airport served 40,187,442 passengers[5] in 2011 making the airport the tenth busiest for total passengers in North America. In 2006, the airport was named the fastest-growing of the top ten airports in the United States by the United States Department of Transportation. Houston Bush Intercontinental is the largest passenger carrying hub for United Airlines carrying 16.6 million passengers annually with an average of 45,413 passengers daily.[6] The airport also serves as a focus city for Spirit Airlines.


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