United Airlines opened its largest inflight training facility on Tuesday inside George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The airport will bring more jobs to the Houston area this year.
The $32 million center features 56,000 square feet of expanded new classroom and training spaces, additional cabin and door trainers and an aquatic center for flight attendants.
“The best flight attendants in the industry deserve the best, most modern training facility in the country,” United CEO Scott Kirby said in a statement.
The training facility incorporates mock seats, an auditorium room with over 400 seats, a public address room for flight attendants to practice their onboarding announcements, and a 125,000-gallon pool for flight attendants to practice safe evacuation in the event of a water landing.
United plans to train over 600 new-hire flight attendants every month. Flight attendants will go through a six-and-a-half week training course at the new facility in Houston and return every 18 months to stay up to date on their qualifications.
United has operated for more than 70 years from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Over the years, they have contributed $1.2 billion through direct employment. The President of United Airlines, Brett Hart, said the company will continue to support Houston economically with jobs.
"You think about the growth that we have here and the fact that we will be hiring another 1800 people over the next year, the future is very bright," he said.
CEO Scott Kirby said the airline focused on recovery after COVID-19 so that people could travel and still connect with the world.
“This expansion project is yet another example of an investment we made during the depths of the pandemic that will support our employees, further improve our ability to deliver great service and set United up for success in 2023 and beyond," he said.
Mayor Sylvester Turner says United Airlines continues to provide economic growth for the city of Houston.
"In terms of the benefit to the city, United supports probably about another 56,000 employees locally in the city, so it's huge. The economic impact of United is more than a billion dollars, about a billion and two," he said.
United officials said the new center will bring more than 1,800 new jobs to Houston.