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Posts Tagged ‘Houston Airport System’

And we circle back to Uber and Lyft

Took longer than we thought it would, but on we move to the next contentious debate. Companies that connect riders with drivers via smartphone and tablet applications could operate legally in Houston, subject to certain conditions, under a proposal to be considered Wednesday by the City Council. The suggested changes to Houston’s taxi and limousine […]

Council approves Southwest/Hobby deal

You are now free to make lame jokes about Southwest’s marketing slogan. Council members unanimously approved a 25-year use and lease agreement with the Dallas-based carrier that incorporates a new two-story, five-gate concourse and Customs and Border Protection inspection facility at Hobby into existing terms and conditions. The 280,000-square-foot expansion is scheduled for completion before […]

First Hobby expansion details announced

Moving forward at Hobby Airport. The Southwest Airlines-proposed expansion, green-lighted by the Houston City Council last May, calls for construction by the end of 2015 of a new concourse with five gates capable of accommodating midsize aircraft; a federal inspection services facility with 16 stations; three additional baggage carousels; six security checkpoints; and an expanded […]

Free WiFi finally coming to Houston airports

And there was much rejoicing. Free WiFi is set to land at Houston’s two main airports by year’s end. As wireless fidelity service becomes a consumer expectation, the Houston Airport System told the Houston Chronicle it is working to develop a complimentary – as well as fast, reliable and easy to use – network for […]

How do you say “J’accuse!” in Korean?

Here we go again with the Korea kerfuffle. City Councilwoman Helena Brown on Tuesday accused Mayor Annise Parker of sabotaging her recent taxpayer-funded trip to Asia to promote direct air service between Seoul and Houston. Brown joined Houston Airport Director Mario Diaz in visits to Beijing and Taipei early this month but did not meet […]

So why did CM Brown go to Korea?

According to the Press, which is really killing it on this story, it wasn’t to meet with airline officials. Houston City Council Member Helena Brown issued a press release Wednesday touting her recent trip to Asia, which she funded with $11,000 in public money, as a “successful business trip” — but it’s become clear her […]

More on CM Brown’s trip to Korea

Hair Balls recently noted that CM Helena Brown recently submitted an expense report for nearly $11,000 for a plane ticket to Korea; they raised issues about her soliciting donations outside the allowed fundraising period to cover that expense. The Chron picks up the story. A statement released by Brown’s office Tuesday states that her adviser […]

There will still be international flights at IAH

In fact, soon there will be a new airline and a new destination at IAH. Turkish Airlines plans to start non-stop flights between Bush Intercontinental Airport and Istanbul next year, the Houston Airport System announced in a press release. The announcement comes three weeks after Council approved an expansion of Hobby Airport to accommodate plans […]

Council approves Hobby expansion plan

In the end, it wasn’t close. City Council approved a plan Wednesday that will give Houston two international commercial airports, settling a public policy debate that raged for months over whether flights from Hobby Airport to Latin America would boost the local economy with new passengers or divide the city against itself and trigger layoffs, […]

Hobby jobs claims

There’s been a lot of discussion about how many jobs the proposal to expand Hobby Airport and allow Southwest Airlines to begin flying internationally from there may or may not create. This story gets to the heart of what really matters. Expanding Hobby Airport so Southwest Airlines can begin flying to Latin America will create […]

More details on the Southwest deal

Here’s the memo of understanding between Southwest and the city, via Houston Politics. Some highlights: Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-to-late 2013 with an opening of the five international gates and customs facility in late 2015. Other aspects of the deal: Southwest will design and build the project. Southwest will comply with city goals […]

Mayor to announce Hobby expansion deal

Here it comes. Houston Mayor Annise Parker is planning to announce Wednesday morning that the city and Southwest Airlines have come to an agreement on how to finance a $100 million expansion of Hobby Airport to accommodate international flights, according to a City Hall source. The agreement is subject to approval by City Council. The […]

Paying for Hobby expansion

At last week’s Council hearing on the proposed expansion of Hobby Airport, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly made the statement that if the proposal were to be accepted, Southwest would pay for the $100 million project. The Chron looks at what this means. Because the Houston Airport System is an enterprise fund separate from the […]

Two cities, one argument about airports

Turns out Houston isn’t the only city squabbling with United Airlines about airport expansions. There’s a similar fight going on in Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has gotten tough with the teachers union and muscled the City Council. But will he mess with somebody his own size? Mr. Emanuel is at odds with airline boss Jeff […]

“Reasonable accommodation”

According to a legal opinion provided by the City Attorney’s office, Houston must provide “reasonable accommodation” to Southwest Airlines for its proposal to offer international flights at Hobby Airport. In a memo accompanying the legal opinion, City Attorney David Feldman wrote that “consideration of such economic issues for the community cannot be controlling; the City’s […]

United’s study predicts doom and disaster if Hobby expands

Well, what did you expect it to say? Expanding Hobby Airport to allow for international flights will cost the Houston area 3,700 jobs and $295 million in economic activity, according to a study released by United Airlines Thursday afternoon. United’s conclusions contrast starkly with the projections of a study commissioned by the Houston Airport System […]

Hobby expansion, for and neutral

The Chron had an interesting point/not-quite-counterpoint about the Hobby expansion proposal on its Sunday op-ed pages. The pro-Hobby expansion piece by Ed Wulfe was mostly rah-rah stuff and didn’t bring anything new to the debate. The other piece, by Darren Bush, was interesting mostly in that it wasn’t an actual counterpoint to Wulfe’s argument. My […]

Here come the lobbyists

It’s getting real in the United versus Southwest fight. Both sides have enlisted A-list lobbying teams. United’s includes Marty Stein, who until little more than a year ago was Mayor Annise Parker’s agenda director; former City Attorney Anthony Hall and Greater Houston Partnership Airports Task Force Chair Michelle Baden. Southwest has former City Councilwoman Graci […]

Council is skeptical of Hobby International

Not so clear skies for expanding Hobby Airport into an international terminal. A consultant’s study that forecasts an economic boon for Houston if Hobby is made into an international airport came under fire from city council members Monday as “biased” and “custom-made just to satisfy the demand of Southwest” Airlines, which is asking the city […]

Houston Airport System sides with Southwest

Hot out of the inbox: In a memorandum to Mayor Annise Parker, Houston Director of Aviation Mario Diaz recommends the City of Houston work with Southwest Airlines (Southwest) to expand the federal inspection services (FIS) facility at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to support scheduled commercial international service. “I have concluded given Southwest’s existing and […]

Today’s the day for the airport report

Today’s the day when we get that report from Houston Airport System Director Mario Diaz that makes a recommendation to Mayor Parker and City Council about whether or not to expand Hobby Airport to include international flights. We will also get those two economic studies the city paid for to quantify the effect of such […]

Catching up on United versus Southwest

There have been a few news stories of interest since we first heard about the Southwest Airlines plan for international flights at Hobby Airport, which is being vigorously opposed by United, who wants to keep IAH as the only international airport in Houston. United has a couple of Congressmen on their side. Two local congressmen […]

United versus Southwest

I feel like I’m missing something in this debate. A proposal by Southwest Airlines to offer international flights from Hobby Airport has triggered an intense lobbying duel with United Airlines, which still wields considerable local clout as the successor to Houston-based Continental. If it gets city approval, Southwest says it would spend an estimated $75 […]

Let’s share that toll road revenue

Have you ever taken the toll road connector from the Hardy Toll Road to IAH? I have, many times. Being able to bypass the traffic on Beltway 8 and JFK Boulevard makes it worthwhile for me to take the Hardy instead of I-45. Turns out that the city of Houston paid for part of the […]

Council approves IAH/United deal

The deal is done. The deal calls for United to put in $686 million and the Houston Airport System $288 million. Although the airport system is a city government function, it runs as a separate business and will not use tax money to finance the deal. The system plans to pay its share of costs […]

Some questions about the airport deal

The Chron stumped for the Terminal B expansion deal on Friday. Under the proposal by United, which merged with Continental this year, the Chicago-based airline would spend $686 million to expand and renovate Terminal B. The city is being asked to contribute $288 million via a $3-per-passenger fee for the Houston Airport System and, if […]

Chron story on the Terminal B expansion

Here’s the Chron story on that Terminal B expansion at IAH that I mentioned on Sunday. It fills in some blanks. United Airlines would pay $686 million to expand and renovate Bush Intercontinental Airport’s Terminal B and gain control over its operations — including concessions — under a deal on Wednesday’s City Council agenda. The […]

Terminal B expansion on the menu

In late May, the city announced that Terminal B expansion at IAH would go forward. Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the Houston Airport System (HAS), and United Continental Holdings, Inc. Airlines, reaffirm a commitment to overhaul Terminal B at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) with a revised $1 billion renovation project. This public-private initiative will help […]