A groundbreaking ceremony held at George Bush Intercontinental Airport has signaled the start of construction of the new Terminal B south concourse, part of the airport’s US$1 billion three-phase redevelopment project.
The US$160 million south concourse project, which is scheduled for completion in 2013, will replace the existing south side flight stations with a new 225,000ft2 facility to accommodate United’s regional aircraft. At nearly four times the size of the existing space, the new concourse will provide a better customer experience, as it will feature modern and expanded gate lounge areas, concessions and restroom facilities.
A 95ft-wide bridge will provide access to the terminal and its 13,000ft2 food beverage and retail concession concourse. There will also be 28ft-high glass windows allowing passengers to gain expansive tarmac views from the central passenger lounge areas.
“As I noted in my inaugural address, creating jobs for Houstonians is my number-one job for the next two years,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “Phase one of this billion-dollar investment with United is the first delivery on that promise. We celebrate the boost to our local economy that will result from this investment. Houston will thrive as our global gateway expands to include more flights and greater access to business connections around the world.”
“Houston is our largest hub and a vital international gateway in United’s network,” said Pete McDonald, United’s executive vice president and chief operations officer. “This investment in the Houston hub will allow us to accommodate more customers and more aircraft types, provide new amenities for travelers and improve efficiencies for the new United.”
Plans for future phases of the $1 billion redevelopment project include redevelopment of the central Terminal B lobby and baggage claim areas, an international-capable north concourse for mainline and regional jets, a Terminal B Federal Inspections Services (FIS) facility and infrastructure improvements.
The entire three-phase redevelopment project is planned over the next 7-10 years, based on demand. The project’s design incorporates energy-efficient techniques using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria.