|November 19, 2009|
The Houston Airport System (HAS) is dynamic. That’s the message that was presented by interim director Eric Potts during the State of the Airports Address at the Hilton Americas Hotel.
The event saluted the 40th anniversary of George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). To make the event extraordinary, the airport’s namesake, Former President George H.W. Bush, made a special appearance, showing his humor and pride.
More than 600 people attended the luncheon. Alongside the Former President, were his wife, Barbara Bush, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, City Controller Annise Parker and numerous city council members.
It’s hard to believe that in 1969 Bush was a sophomore member of congress. He was honored when the airport was named after him in 1997. He recounted a story a writer pointed out to him many years ago.
“Chris Buckley flew from Reagan airport in Washington to Bush airport in Houston,” said Former President Bush. “He thought he had hard evidence that there was a vast right wing conspiracy.”
Fresh Air Cargo
Another highlight of the event was the announcement of the new 60-thousand square-foot IAH Fresh Air Cargo Center, which is designed to handle flowers, fruits, vegetables and seafood.
“Right now, most of these goods are flown into Miami and then trucked to various spots across the country,” said Potts. “But with Houston’s geographic location and our new fresh air cargo facility, these items can get to their destinations fresher and faster.”
The first cargo flights begin on December 3.
Air Service Growth
Now, 40 years later, the Houston Airport System is the center of a regional transportation system. HAS and its airline partners have been able to minimize the economic storm by bringing new service and airlines into the market including:
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Click Here to view the 2009 State of the Airports PowerPoint presentation.
• Doha - Qatar Airways
• Rio de Janeiro – Continental Airlines
• Seattle – Alaska Airlines
• Frankfurt – Continental Airlines
• Moscow – Singapore Airlines
• Singapore – Singapore Airlines
• Edmonton – Continental Airlines
• Montreal – Air Canada
• San Salvador - TACA
• Washington-Dulles – Continental Airlines
• London-Heathrow – British Airways and Continental Airlines
“Our success stories at the Houston Airport System means you now have access to nonstop flights to 170 destinations worldwide by 21 different airlines operating out of George Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby,” said Potts.
A phased expansion is also underway which will take about five years. Some projects will be deferred while others will move forward. Expect new construction and remodeling of three terminals in IAH and Hobby.