George Bush Intercontinental Airport is 23 miles north of downtown Houston, Texas. George Bush Intercontinental Airport is located between Interstate 45 and Highway 59, inside the Houston city limits in the Aldine area, and is adjacent to Humble.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport is Texas’ second largest air facility, after Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The airport has flights to parts of the United States, as well as to Canada, Central and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport is the ninth busiest for total passengers and the seventh largest international passenger gateway in the United States as well as the sixth busiest airport in the world for total aircraft movements according to the ACI World Traffic Report for 2005. Recently George Bush Intercontinental Airport was named the fourth-fastest growing airport in the world.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport currently ranks second in the United States among U.S. airports with scheduled non-stop domestic and international service with 221 destinations, trailing only Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson with 250 destinations.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport also has the highest on-time performance of any major United States airport, according to the latest United States Department of Transportation report.
With 30 destinations in Mexico, George Bush Intercontinental Airport offers service to more Mexican destinations than any other U.S. airport.
Houston is also the headquarters of Continental Airlines, and George Bush Intercontinental Airport is Continental’s largest hub, with 771 daily departures.
Houston Intercontinental Airport, as it was originally known, was opened in 1969. Originally, all passenger traffic from William P. Hobby Airport was moved to Intercontinental upon IAH’s completion as Houston’s second airport, remaining open as a general aviation airport. Hobby reopened two years later to commercial traffic, though virtually all international traffic remained at Intercontinental and Hobby was relegated to more local traffic.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport recently presented its final master plan update, which will make George Bush Intercontinental Airport one of the more impressive airport facilities of the country. The near-term plan calls for Terminal B’s circular flight stations to be rebuilt into linear facilities similar to Terminal A. Soon after, all of the facilities in the North and South Concourses will be linked together to form two long continuous facilities.
The long-term plans call for the existing unit terminals to be demolished and the North and South Concourses to be linked midway. A new Central Passenger Processing facility will be built, called the East Terminal. An underground people mover will also be built.
Airfield improvements include a new Runway 8C-26C, a new Runway 9R-27L, and a perimeter taxiway. Access roadways will also be improved.
George Bush Intercontinental Airport ranks as the eleventh largest gateway in the United States in terms of international air cargo moved. The facility moved 751 million pounds of cargo in 2005.
For the second year in a row, Air Cargo World honored Bush Intercontinental Airport with the ACE Award for Excellence in the cat egor y of airports with less than 500,000 tons of air cargo annually.
Because of the 4.2% annual growth rate in cargo over the last five years, the Houston Airport System decided to create the 125 million dollar, 550,000 sq ft (51,095 m2) George Bush Intercontinental Cargo Center, which opened in January of 2003. The new facility can handle up to 20 widebody aircraft at one time. The Cargo Center has its own separate Federal Inspection Facility (FIS), which houses US Customs, Immigration and Natur ali zation Service (INS), Department of Agriculture and US Health Inspection Services.
The Cargo Center’s next project, in accordance to increasing demand, called International Air Cargo Center II, will be an approximately 60,000 sq ft (18,288 m2) perishable cargo handling facility. It will be located in the George Bush Intercontinental Airport Cargo Center and offer direct ramp access for cargo airlines as well as importers and distributors of perishable goods.