|George Bush Intercontinental Airport
|IATA: IAH ICAO: KIAH FAA LID: IAH|
|Owner||City of Houston|
|Operator||Houston Airport System|
|Serves||HoustonThe Woodlands-Sugar Land|
|Location||Houston, Texas, United States|
|Hub for||United Airlines|
|Elevation AMSL||97 ft / 30 m|
George Bush Intercontinental Airport, (IATA: IAH, ICAO: KIAH, FAA LID: IAH) is a Class B international airport in Houston, Texasthe United States' fourth largest populated city, and serving the HoustonThe Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area, the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Located about 23 miles (37 km) north of Downtown Houston, between Interstate 45 and U.S. Highway 59, George Bush Intercontinental Airport has scheduled flights to domestic and international destinations. The airport is named after George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport served 40,187,442 passengers 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 hub for United Airlines with an average of 800 daily departures.
The site for Bush Intercontinental Airport was originally purchased by a group of civic-minded Houston businessmen in 1957 to preserve the site until the city of Houston could formulate a plan for a second airport. The holding company for the land was named the Jet Era Ranch Corporation, but a typo-graphical 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.
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.
Houston Intercontinental Airport, as it was originally known, opened in June 1969. All passenger traffic from William P. Hobby Airport moved to Intercontinental upon the airport's completion. Hobby remained open as a general aviation airport and reopened two years later when Southwest Airlines initiated domestic services.
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.
In the late 1980s, Houston City Council considered a plan to rename the airport after Mickey Lelandan African-American congressman who died in an aviation accident in Ethiopia. Instead of renaming the whole airport, the city named Mickey Leland International Arrivals Building, which would later become Mickey Leland Terminal D, after the congressman. In April 1997, Houston City Council unanimously voted to rename the airport George Bush Intercontinental Airport/Houston, after George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States.
On August 28, 1990, Continental Airlines agreed to build its maintenance center at George Bush Intercontinental Airport; Continental agreed to do so because the city of Houston agreed to provide city-owned land near the airport so that Continental could build its maintenance facility there.
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 flights operated by United Airlines which uses 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.
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 square feet (1,900 m2) and 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) and additional retail; the developer may add a hotel.
The airport was to become the fourth in the world, after Dubai International Airport, Doha International Airport, and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, to service all six continents when first services commenced to Auckland, New Zealand but plans for the Auckland service have been put on hold (as of June 2012) because of new international flights at Hobby Airport (to be operated by Southwest Airlines). United Airlines had postponed the introduction of this service owing to delays associated with the Boeing 787.
Houston has become the 6th US city to have Airbus A380 service when Lufthansa transitioned its Houston-Frankfurt route from a 747-400 to an A380 service on August 1, 2012. Houston will also gain new nonstop flights to Turkey when Turkish Airlines will launch nonstop service to Istanbul on April 1, 2013.
On January 15, 2013, Air China announced that it will be offering nonstop flights from Houston to Beijing, China using a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft beginning July 11, 2013 pending approval from the US Department of Transportation. This will be the airport's first nonstop route to China and the second nonstop route to Asia.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport served 40,187,442 passengers 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 and the 7th busiest airport in the world for total aircraft movements. In 2006, the United States Department of Transportation named George Bush Intercontinental Airport the fastest growing of the top ten airports in the United States. The Houston Airport System (HAS) states that the airport's service area includes the following Greater Houston counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller.
The airport currently ranks fourth in the United States for non-stop domestic and international service with 182 destinations, trailing Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with 200 destinations Chicago O'Hare International Airport with 192 destinations and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with 239 destinations. Furthermore, about 45 percent of the airport's passengers begin or terminate (O&D) their journey at the airport. Bush Intercontinental ranks first among the major United States airports with the highest on-time performance, according to a 2010 United States Department of Transportation report.
The Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center, located on the airport grounds at 16600 JFK Boulevard, serves as the airport's ARTCC. The HAS administrative offices are also on the airport property.
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. The Hardy Tollway Connector runs from west to east connecting JFK Boulevard to the Hardy Toll Road.
The airport has a total of five terminals encompassing 250 acres (1 km²)., with a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) distance from Terminal A to Terminal D.
Terminal A was one of the original two terminals to open in 1969 and was designed by Goleman & Rolfe and George Pierce-Abel B. Pierce. 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. Terminal A has 20 gates, with 10 gates in the North Concourse and 10 gates in the South Concourse. Today, in the terminal, all non-United domestic and Canada operations (including Air Canada Jazz operations) and some United Express operations are handled.
The food court areas are in the center of each concourse, near the departure gates. A small United Club is found in the North concourse.
Terminal B 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. It is mostly an unaltered terminal from its original design and is now used solely by United Express. For this reason, the jet bridges are considerably lower to the ground than most others. There are 37 gates and 20 hardstand gates. The terminal serves all United Express flights except for arrivals that require customs and immigration which are handled in Terminal D. It underwent minor renovations from 1997 to 2001, designed by Gensler. In 2011 the City of Houston announced that it would demolish the gate areas of Terminal B and rebuild them. The first phase of the terminal's renovation broke ground on January 23, 2012 and it is expected to be completed by 2013.
Terminal C (also known as Lewis W. Cutrer Terminal) 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 and Folfe Architects and Pierce and Pierce Architects. It serves as United Airlines' main base of domestic operations and they operate two United Clubs in the terminal. Terminal C has 31 gates. The terminal includes the airport's interfaith chapel. The terminal underwent renovations from 2000 to 2005 and was designed by Gensler.
Terminal D (also known as Mickey Leland Terminal) opened in 1990 as the International Arrivals Building (IAB) and took over the international operations of the entire airport. Originally Terminal D, which cost $95 million and was designed by Golemon and Folfe Architects, Pierce Goodwin Alexander, James L. Marshall Associates, and Molina and Associates, named Terminal IAB, was the only terminal to have a Federal Inspection Facility (FIS), and US Customs. At the time, all international arrivals used the terminal. The original name of Terminal D was Mickey Leland International Arrivals Building. Since the opening of Terminal E/FIS, Terminal D now houses all non-United international flights except for United Express international arrivals. 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. Terminal D has 12 gates and several international lounges including a British Airways Executive, British Airways FIRST, Lufthansa Senator, KLM Crown, Air France, and an Executive Lounge for Singapore, Emirates, Qatar, and Lufthansa.
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.
Terminal E is IAH's newest terminal, and houses United Airlines's international operations and some domestic operations. The terminal was designed by Corgan Associates, 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. United operates one large, 3 floor, United Club in Terminal E. Originally Continental (before merging with United) used the terminal solely for domestic flights, but relocated its international services to the new terminal after the new Federal Inspection Service (FIS) building opened. The terminal was designed for maximum flexibility, with jetways that were able to handle any aircraft. Currently, all United international mainline flights arrive at Terminal E while all United Express international flights arrive at Terminal D. In addition to international flights, United domestic mainline flights also operate out of the terminal.
|Aeroméxico Connect||Mexico City, Monterrey||D|
|Air Canada Express
operated by Jazz Air
|Air China||Beijing-Capital (begins July 11, 2013)||D|
|Air France||Paris-Charles de Gaulle||D|
|American Airlines||Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York-JFK||A|
|American Eagle||Chicago-O'Hare, Los Angeles||A|
|American Eagle operated by Republic Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare (begins October 1, 2013)||A|
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta
Seasonal: Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City
operated by Compass Airlines
|Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, Salt Lake City||A|
operated by ExpressJet Airlines
|Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis||A|
operated by Pinnacle Airlines
|Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul||A|
operated by SkyWest Airlines
|Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City||A|
|Delta Connection operated by Shuttle America||New York-LaGuardia||A|
|Frontier Airlines||Denver, Wilmington/Philadelphia (begins July 1, 2013)||A|
|Singapore Airlines||Moscow-Domodedovo, Singapore||D|
|Spirit Airlines||Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver (begins June 13, 2013), Detroit (begins June 13, 2013), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando||A|
|Sun Air International||Victoria (TX)||A|
|TACA Airlines||San Salvador
|United Airlines||Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Calgary, Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, McAllen, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia, Newark, Oklahoma City, Ontario, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland (OR), Raleigh/Durham, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San Juan, Seattle/Tacoma, Tampa, Vancouver, Washington-Dulles, Washington-National, West Palm Beach
Seasonal: Anchorage, Eagle/Vail, Gunnison/Crested Butte, Hayden/Steamboat Springs, Jackson Hole, Montrose, Omaha, Tucson
Game Days Only: College Station
|United Airlines||Amsterdam, Belize City, Bogotá, Bonaire, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Cancún, Caracas, Cozumel, Frankfurt, Grand Cayman, Guadalajara, Guatemala City, Lagos, León/Del Bajío, Liberia, Lima, London-Heathrow, Managua, Mérida, Mexico City, Montego Bay, Monterrey, Panama City, Port of Spain, Puerto Vallarta, Quito, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, Roatán, San José de Costa Rica, San José del Cabo, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Tegucigalpa, Tokyo-Narita
Seasonal: Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Nassau
operated by ExpressJet Airlines
|Aguascalientes, Albuquerque, Alexandria, Amarillo, Atlanta, Austin, Baton Rouge, Birmingham (AL), Brownsville, College Station, Charleston (SC), Charleston (WV), Charlotte, Chihuahua, Cincinnati, Ciudad del Carmen, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbia (SC), Columbus (OH), Corpus Christi, Dallas-Love, Dallas/Fort Worth, Dayton, Denver, Detroit, Durango, El Paso, Fayetteville (AR), Fort Myers, Fort Walton Beach, Grand Junction, Grand Rapids, Greenville/Spartanburg, Guadalajara, Gulfport/Biloxi, Harlingen, Hobbs, Huatulco, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Jackson (MS), Jacksonville, Kansas City, Killeen/Fort Hood, Knoxville, Lafayette, Laredo, León/Del Bajío, Lexington, Little Rock, Louisville, Lubbock, Manzanillo, McAllen, Memphis, Mexico City, Midland-Odessa, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Mobile, Monroe, Monterrey, Morelia, Nashville, New Orleans, Oaxaca, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Pensacola, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Puebla, Querétaro, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Salt Lake City, Saltillo, San Antonio, San José del Cabo, San Luis Potosí, Savannah, Shreveport, St. Louis, Tampico, Toronto-Pearson, Torreón/Gómez Palacio, Tucson, Tulsa, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Tyler, Veracruz, Villahermosa, Washington-Dulles, West Palm Beach, Wichita
Seasonal: Acapulco, Fort Myers, Montrose, Nassau, Norfolk, Rapid City (resumes June 6, 2013), St. Louis
operated by Shuttle America
|Cleveland, Columbus (OH), Indianapolis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans (begins June 6, 2013), Washington-Dulles
Seasonal: Albuquerque, Montréal-Trudeau
operated by SkyWest Airlines
|Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Bakersfield, Brownsville, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbus (OH), Dallas-Love, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, El Paso, Fayetteville (AR), Fort Myers, Harlingen, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Little Rock, Louisville, McAllen, Midland-Odessa, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, St. Louis, Toronto-Pearson, Tucson, Tulsa, Washington-Dulles, Wichita
Seasonal: Aspen, Norfolk, Orlando, Palm Springs
operated by Trans States Airlines
|Cincinnati, Greenville/Spartanburg, Memphis, Nashville, Oklahoma City, St. Louis||C|
|US Airways||Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix||A|
|1||Mexico City, Mexico||600,876||Aeromexico, Aeromexico Connect, Continental/United|
|3||London (Heathrow), United Kingdom||486,090||British Airways, Continental/United|
|4||San Jose, Costa Rica||390,432||Continental/United|
|5||Calgary, Canada||300,748||Air Canada, Continental/United|
|6||Amsterdam, the Netherlands||295,049||Continental/United, KLM|
|7||Guatemala City, Guatemala||277,360||Continental/United|
|8||Panama City, Panama||243,729||Continental/United|
|9||Frankfurt, Germany||200,576||Continental/United, Lufthansa|
|10||Paris, France||189,549||Air France, Continental/United|
|1||Los Angeles, CA||657,000||American, Spirit, United/Continental|
|2||Chicago, IL||589,000||American, United/Continental, Spirit|
|3||Denver, CO||552,000||Frontier, United/Continental|
|5||San Francisco, CA||480,000||United/Continental|
|6||Dallas/Fort Worth, TX||436,000||American, Spirit, United/Continental|
|7||Phoenix, AZ||413,000||United/Continental, US Airways|
|8||Las Vegas, NV||402,000||United/Continental, Spirit|
|9||Charlotte, NC||402,000||United/Continental, US Airways|
|10||New Orleans, LA||400,000||United/Continental|
Atlas Air offers a thrice-weekly charter service to Luanda, Angola on behalf of SonAir. Atlas Air replaced World Airways in June 2010. 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).
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.
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.
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.
From Downtown Houston one can travel to George Bush Intercontinental by taking U.S. Route 59 (Easttex 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. The Hardy Toll Road has an exit from the north or south to the airport.
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 (US 59). 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. 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. 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.
Regularly scheduled bus and shuttle service is provided by various carriers to locations from IAH to Reliant Park/Reliant Astrodome, Downtown Houston, Uptown, Greenway Plaza, the Texas Medical Center, hotels in the Westchase and Energy Corridor business districts, the city of College Station and William P. Hobby Airport. Super Shuttle also provides service from George Bush Intercontinental Airport to the surrounding communities via shared vans.[dead link]
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. 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.
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.
Ed Carpenter's "Light Wings", a multicolored glass sculpture suspended below a sky light, adorns the Terminal A North Concourse. 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.
The elevators in Terminal B are cased in stainless steel accordion shaped structures designed by Rachel Hecker. The corridor leading to Terminal B has Dixie Friend Gay's "Houston Bayou." This work is composed of an 8 x 75 ft (2.4 x 23 m) Byzantine glass mosaic mural depicting scenes from Houston's bayous and wetlands, several bronze animals embedded in the floor, and five mosaic columns.
Lights Spikes Jay Baker, shown in the photo, was created for the 1990 G7 Summit when it was hosted by President George H. W. Bush in Houston. The sculpture was relocated to the airport outside of E Terminal after the meetings from its original location in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center.
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. The airport has a display of lighted modern sculptures between terminals C and D.
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.
The facility can handle up to 20 widebody aircraft at one time and has expanded to an operational area of 880,000 sq ft (81,752 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.
The facility also includes the International Air CargoCenter II, a 60,000 sq ft (18,288 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. The center is recoginized as an official Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF).
The city of Houston presented its master plan update for IAH in 2005. 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 2013.
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.
Airfield improvements include a new Runway 8C-26C, a new Runway 9R-27L, a perimeter taxiway, and access roadways. 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.
The following involved flights departing or arriving at the airport:
Flight information display system at Terminal B
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