Houston’s airports continue to see record-breaking growth in passengers, according to the Houston Airport System.
“We are connecting Houston to the global market like never before. Since 2010, we doubled our international service to Houston,” said Mario Diaz, the director of aviation for the Houston Airport System. “Today, our airports continue to energize our local economy. A new study shows that in 2019, our airports have contributed over $36 billion to the local economy.”
Diaz addressed the Greater Houston Partnership at the Hilton Hotel downtown Tuesday, an organization whose mission is to attract more business to Houston.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of George Bush Intercontinental Airport. In 1969, the airport held just two terminals carrying 4.5 million passengers. Now, IAH has five terminals with 28 airlines and 43.8 million passengers traveling to over 180 destinations.
“Big companies don’t want to have to connect someplace else. That’s why having a really good airport system is important to big cities,” said Scott McClelland, chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership.
Ethiopian Airlines will have its inaugural flight from West Africa fly to Bush this coming Monday. That flight will happen three times per week, as Bush’s International terminal is currently in the process of being renovated. The construction project broke ground in October and isn’t expected to be completed for a few more years.
Meanwhile, for the first time since 2015, William P. Hobby Airport exceeded the one million international passenger mark. Both Houston airports also received four-star ratings this year from skytrax, which monitors airport customer service.
CORRECTION (December 12, 2019): A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the name of Mario Diaz, director of aviation for the Houston Airport System.