United and Houston Airport System Begin Redevelopment Project at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport


HOUSTON, Jan. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston Airport System, in partnership with United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL), today broke ground on the first phase of a three-phase redevelopment project at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Phase one of the project, to be completed in 2013, will create a new Terminal B south concourse dedicated to regional jet operations.

The $160 million south concourse project will replace the existing south side flight stations with a new 225,000 square-foot 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.

Travelers will access the new concourse from the terminal via a 95-foot-wide bridge with 13,000 square feet of food, beverage and retail concessions – a 500-percent increase in concession space over the current facility. The concourse will feature 28-foot-high floor-to-ceiling glass windows, offering expansive tarmac views from spacious central passenger lounge areas with durable and modern interior finishes.

“As I noted in my inaugural address, creating jobs for Houstonians is my number-one job for the next two years,” said Mayor 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, a new international-capable north concourse for mainline and regional jets, a new Terminal B Federal Inspections Services (FIS) facility and infrastructure improvements.

The entire three-phase redevelopment project is planned over the next seven to 10 years, based on demand.

The project’s design incorporates energy-efficient techniques using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria.

The Houston Airport System is partnering with United on the project and the new construction will be a significant investment in the local economy by creating many jobs.

“Bush Intercontinental is the first impression many people have of Houston,” said Mario C. Diaz, director of the Houston Airport System. “We exist to connect people, businesses and economies around the world, and this project will allow for an enhanced customer experience and a stronger gateway for our air service needs.”

About George Bush Intercontinental Airport

The Houston Airport System (HAS) served more than 49.5 million passengers in 2010. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) is the 7th busiest airport in the nation and more than 40.4 million passengers traveled through the five-runway, five terminal airport. Seventeen airlines offer nonstop flights from IAH to more than 170 destinations worldwide including nonstop flights and connections to more destinations in Mexico than any other airport in the nation. For more information, visit fly2houston.com or follow us on Twitter @ IAH.

About United Continental Holdings, Inc.

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) is the holding company for both United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Together with United Express, Continental Express and Continental Connection, these airlines operate an average of 5,717 flights a day to 376 airports on six continents from their hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark Liberty, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. United and Continental are members of Star Alliance, which offers more than 21,200 daily flights to 1,185 airports in 185 countries. United and Continental’s more than 80,000 employees reside in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world. For more information about United Continental Holdings, Inc., go to UnitedContinentalHoldings.com. For more information about the airlines, see united.com and continental.com or follow United on Twitter and Facebook.