|September 1, 2010|
Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Mario C. Diaz, Houston Airport System director of aviation, completed a successful trade mission to China and they are optimistic that the trip will spark growth in international air service available to passengers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).
Diaz signed an airport cooperation agreement with the government of Chongqing, a major city in central China. with 32 million residents.
The cooperation agreement allows airport leaders in both cities to begin a new exchange of aviation knowledge as delegations from both airports come face-to-face for exchanges of best practices in the aviation industry.
"We each have so much to gain from the sharing of knowledge between our two cities," said Mayor Parker. "Houston has so much to offer, but will also learn about ways to improve our own processes to achieve best practices in the industry so travelers will have a great experience and want to come back. It’s a win-win."
The long-term goal is for the cooperative experience to develop a stronger connection between the fourth largest city in the United States and China.
Houston's international traffic is on the rise with a passenger growth of 8.6 percent in the first six months of 2010.
Diaz, who arrived in Houston as the aviation director in June, is determined to take that number to an even higher level.
The new director believes expanding air service between Houston and China is an important step in reaching that goal.
“The Houston-China relationship represents a unique window of opportunity and Houston needs to make sure that the air service that connects the two regions is supporting the strong cultural and business ties which already exist,” says Diaz.
These government-to-government and airport-to-airport programs are designed to cultivate cooperative relationships with Chinese government and airports.
The Houston Airport System also partners with the American government and industry stakeholders to maximize the value of the exchanges for the economic and air service development interests between China and the Greater Houston area.
These programs help Houston promote global goodwill, industry professionalism and builds Houston's international reputation and a world leader.
Houston Airports exchange programs typically include the following topics:
- Comprehensive Airport Management Program
- Airport Operations Safety Program
- Airport Emergency/Contingency Management
- Airport Operations, Runway Safety and Air Traffic Management Program
In the past decade, the Houston Airports have annually trained more than 250 aviation executives and professionals in similar cooperative agreements worldwide.
Director of Aviation Mario C. Diaz participates in trade mission to China with Houston business and community leaders, such as Dr. Laura Murillo, President of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, who is standing on the right. If Houston gains flights from China, a growing market will develop with Houston as an important hub for flights between Asia and Latin America..